House Republicans to vote next week on three-month extension of debt ceiling
January 18th, 2013
12:43 PM ET
5 years ago

House Republicans to vote next week on three-month extension of debt ceiling

Williamsburg, Virginia (CNN) - While at a GOP retreat, House Republican leaders on Friday announced a vote next week on a three-month extension of the debt limit, with a requirement that both chambers pass a budget or else go without pay.

The added condition to the short term extension bill aims to force the Democratic-led Senate to pass a budget–something the upper chamber hasn't done in four years.

"That is a shameful run that needs to end, this year," House Speaker John Boehner said in his closing remarks at the retreat, according to excerpts provided by his office. "We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem."

Building onto that, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement that if the Senate or House fail to pass a budget in three months, members of Congress "will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay."

House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy told CNN that "what we're trying to do is put us on a path to a balanced budget."

"April 15th is the deadline for both houses to pass a budget," he continued. "A budget is a roadmap to not only where you are but where you can go. Unfortunately the House has passed one the last two times, but the Senate has not, and what has that created? A $16 trillion debt. An idea of not knowing where our economy is gonna go."

The short-term extension strategy represents a departure from recent discussions where Republicans pushed that any increase in the debt limit must include spending cuts that amounted to the same size of the increase.

And Republican leaders seem to be steering clear of any suggestions that the party is willing to risk allowing the government to default on its loans–the consequence should the debt ceiling be kept as is–as a way to put pressure on the White House and Senate Democrats to carve out drastic spending cuts.

"We are not going to default- I don't know of anybody, and I move in fairly fiscally conservative circles within our party – none of us are talking about default," said conservative GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina. He also signaled he agreed with the new House GOP strategy.

"If you can figure out ways to get little types of reforms, little fixes for small extensions I don't find that objectionable," Mulvaney told reporters.

This is a notable shift, given that Mulvaney, and many of his colleagues elected in 2010, pushed for major spending cuts in exchange for increasing the debt limit.

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded Friday, saying the Senate would be "happy to consider" the House bill if it would "avoid default and allow the United States to meet its existing obligations."

"We have an obligation to pay the bills we have already incurred – bills for which many House Republicans voted," Jentleson continued, though he didn't address the Republicans' condition about passing a budget.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, agreed with House Republicans' insistence on a budget from the Senate.

“It’s not the discussion about the debt and budget failures that has put our nation’s credit rating at risk-it’s the unsustainable debt, the out-of-control Washington spending, and the failure to budget that got us here. It’s time to change, and the debt ceiling discussion is the perfect time for that debate,” he said in a statement.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also responded to the news Friday afternoon.

"We are encouraged that there are signs that Congressional Republicans may back off their insistence on holding our economy hostage to extract drastic cuts in Medicare, education and programs middle class families depend on," he said.

President Barack Obama, however, has previously closed the door to negotiating over the debt ceiling or passing a solution in increments, saying "America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up."

"They're going to have to send me something that's sensible. And we shouldn't be doing this ... on a one to three-month timeframe," Obama said at a news conference on Monday. "Why would we do that? This is the United States of America. ... What, we can't manage our affairs in such a way that we pay our bills and we provide some certainty in terms of how we pay our bills?"

The necessity of raising the debt ceiling comes shortly after the fiscal cliff, which found Republicans and Democrats at stalemate for weeks over averting tax increases and spending cuts that they had designed to trigger if they could not reach a deal.

"I'm not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills," Obama said. "Because that in and of itself does severe damage. Even the threat of default hurts our economy. It's hurting our economy as we speak. We shouldn't be having that debate."

Republican Rep. John Fleming, R-Louisiana, said Thursday the short-term extension idea came out of an ad hoc group led by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, and Boehner signaled he supported the approach.

At one of the closed door sessions at the retreat, rank and file members viewed a slide show that highlighted how one of the last major deficit reduction packages – known as Gramm-Rudman – was preceded by a series of short term extensions in the debt ceiling.

Fleming said many conservatives backed the idea.

"I think we're all pretty much on board," Fleming said, and noted that impetus behind it was to keep the pressure on for reaching a broader deal to cut spending.

- CNN’s Paul Courson contributed to this report.

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • House
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Sylar75

    Alright Dems and GOP. Its time to stop pointing fingers and getting down to fixing this problem by WORKING TOGETHER. Both sides are guilty. I seem to remember when I was a child and my brother and I would fight saying "he started it", "no he started it". My mom would tell us it doesn't matter who started it, you both have to finish it and then we would compromise. My mother apparently was smarter then anyone in the National Government. If we spent less time fighting amongst ourselves and work towards a fix, this country would be fixed my now.

    January 18, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. surf for sun

    See how easy it is for the Republican party to confuse "Tea party supporter" by intermixing the debt ceiling with budgeting. The debt ceiling limit will not shut the goverment down, it will destroy our nations credit rating.

    January 18, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Shut the government down. Grandma and Grandpa can start looking for work at Walmart. Why the hell should my taxes be used to fund Social Security and Medicare.
    Because you'll eventually get the benefits of Social Security and Medicare one day. Duh!!! The more important question is why should MY tax dollars go towards the Dept. of Education when it clearly has failed you and your ilk?

    January 18, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. mm

    Pay for the debt YOU racked up House Republicans!

    Don't think for one minute that we don't know what you are doing. What a worthless set of freeloaders being paid for on the taxpayers' dime! They should be voted out as fast as we can get them out!

    January 18, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    and what has that created? A $16 trillion debt


    Yes, and all this came from just the president right? The TP base and the republican base in general is left with ignorant, misinformed, paranoid misfits. This just proves all you have to do is keep repeating, socialist, Constitution and gov'mint and they'll keep voting for you. Increasing the debt ceiling for a few short months, is more damaging than not increasing it at all. Who wants a short term solution to getting paid on a regular basis? This is just more hostage taking from the party of no concern, no morals and no patriotism. When does this end?

    January 18, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. slalja

    I see many dems CONTINUE to blame Bush, 2 wars, etc, etc... At what point in time do you start realizing the utter failure of this administration? 2 unfunded wars? $900 billion... Try to explain the other trillions added to our debt?

    January 18, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. CBP

    Interesting statement from Tea party Supporter. His/her parents must wonder what they did to get this reaction from their child.

    The Republicans should pay back their salary from the last four years when they did nothing and refused to sit down and work in a bipartisan manner. i am sure there are probably Democrats who should not be paid either. However, to talk about this now only shows how far from reality these members are. The debt ceiling should not be held hostage by the very people who authorized the government spending. One look at the financial bill that was passed to keep us away from the financial cliff tells the whole story. Different items were attached to that bill and once again a bill that should stand on its own is weighted down by the old pork barrel.

    Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor and the rest of the leadership team need to realize that the debt ceiling must be raised to pay the bills from their legislation. IT is time to stop playing games and time for reasonable people to sit down and hammer out a bipartisan solution.

    January 18, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. ray

    i hope. wish and pray people start killing all republicans soon so this country can be a beter place. i will pray everyday for this. had any white president ever endure the crap this president is doing and did?/ answer nope

    January 18, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    GOP gave up

    January 18, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Watch how the start working together when there paycheck is on the line! Let them hold their paychecks hostage!"

    Perhaps CNN can at the very least keep its viewers up to date on all the millionaires in Congress who probably don't rely on their congressional salary to meet their financial obligations to begin with. Just to keep the conversation going as to where we the little people actually do fit in intellectually with our tax paid Representatives and Senators who pander to their intellectually bankrupt voters.

    January 18, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. much thunder.little rain

    keep closing your will all go away...thats not how you deal with the debt problem....

    January 18, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Robert

    Out of that 16 Trillion Debt you have to credit $ 4 trillion to The Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If you don't believe me wilkipedia it.

    January 18, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Hillcrester

    Obama: Hang tough. The GOP is on the ropes, destroying itself. They will eventually capitulate. Stay on message. The US should pay its bills. Sensible spending reductions can be negitiated, but not under threat of default. Yes, voters elected a GOP House, but also a Dem Senate and President. If ALL three can't agree, there is no agreement. The TP/Libertarians do not control government.

    January 18, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Author Charlieg

    U.S. Constitution – Amendment 27
    Amendment 27 – Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay
    No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

    They are bluffing and they know it. Their condition is unconstitutional, and they know it because they are the ones who pushed the amendment. Please let me know when they are serious about this thing. In the mean time, I am rooting for the 49ers.

    January 18, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. hypatia

    can't we trade them for the Algerian hostages?

    January 18, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. otlset

    Say, why don't we cut back on spending a bit? That's what I'm forced to do when my personal revenue drops and my credit card is near the limit. I tighten my belt, and go without until things improve. Why can't the government?

    January 18, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Civil War

    You want to kill slightly less than half of the country because you don't agree with them? Really????
    i hope. wish and pray people start killing all republicans soon so this country can be a beter place. i will pray everyday for this. had any white president ever endure the crap this president is doing and did?/ answer nope

    January 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Obama Cares

    How about a "no salary" clause for the next twelve months. Most of these folk can live on what they have already received from their lobbyists.

    January 18, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    ""I'm not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills," Obama said. "Because that in and of itself does severe damage. Even the threat of default hurts our economy. It's hurting our economy as we speak. We shouldn't be having that debate.""

    All of it true, which is precisely why the GOP/Teatrolls are desperately searching for a way to make this a recurring issue every 2 or 3 months of Obama's 2nd term. They will stop at NOTHING to prevent progress and prolong middle-class suffering while he's in office in hopes that it will work next time when they try to blame it all on the Dems.

    January 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota


    Pay for the debt YOU racked up House Republicans

    Yeah, well ... that's a well kept GOP secret that the GOP has spent 8 years sweeping under the rug. It's a wonder GOPer rug burns aren't more severe .... all that stumbling around the dirty little rug mounds they created ought to be weighting them down ... no matter which way they turn.

    January 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. 2012liberal

    $10 T when obama took over. Obama put wars on books and tax cuts on books that weren't other wise. Added $2T. Inherited grt recession which meant govt needed 2 spend $ on giving 2 those that needed help do 2 ins, food stamps housing. So thats part of where obamas $4T has come from. When will we stop blaming bush? When we r done fixing what he scr@wed up. Starting w $12T debt he left us. I'm all 4 cutting spending n defense and no paychecks 4 congress!

    January 18, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    And, of course, CNN let's the GOP get away with these Senate budget accusations without any scrutiny being given to the GOP/Teatrolls' role in preventing the Senate from passing a budget of its own. The pile under the MSM's rug just grows and grows and grows....

    January 18, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Dave

    Beware, Republicans. The midterms will come along faster than you think. Work with the president that America just elected or you risk becoming a permanent minority party.

    January 18, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. bill davis

    Obama has been waling around wiht his hand our for so many years, and never paid a bill in his life...while looking for another non profit to milk...

    January 18, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Kevin in VA

    And i also wonder how much this little retreat cost the tax payers too.

    This is the new normal in DC and if "WE THE PEOPLE" dont change it, nobody will. They have it just the way they want it.

    January 18, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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