House GOP leaders discard two key demands for raising debt ceiling
February 5th, 2014
01:54 PM ET
9 months ago

House GOP leaders discard two key demands for raising debt ceiling

Washington (CNN) – House Republican leaders, who signaled they would push for conditions in return for raising the debt limit, have discarded two leading ideas.

One would require approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and the second would repeal an Obamacare provision that helps insurance companies, according to two senior House GOP leadership aides.

House Speaker John Boehner and other leaders have been telling their rank and file members they would attach GOP priorities to a debt bill if it would garner 218 GOP votes – enough to pass in the House without Democratic votes.

But after canvassing House Republicans, neither the pipeline nor the Obamacare proposals had sufficient support.

Many Republicans are opposed to raising the debt ceiling, which would allow the government to borrow more money to pay its bills, regardless of what conditions are included.

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats insist they want a clean measure and won't negotiate on raising the debt ceiling.

It’s unclear now what House GOP leaders will do.

There is a divide within GOP ranks about whether it's even worth having a big fight over an issue that could risk economic and political fallout in a midterm election year.

At a forum for House Republicans on Wednesday, Rep Raul Labrador of Idaho recommended that Boehner go ahead and put a “clean” bill on the House floor.

After congressional Republicans took a lot of the blame for last October’s government shutdown, Labrador concedes the GOP can't win a fight on the debt issue.
He said he would still vote against the bill and that "Democrats can own it"

But many conservatives still want to demand some type of spending or budget conditions in exchange for their votes.

"I don’t advocate some sort of scorched-earth process, but I do advocate that let's come up with some commonsense structural reforms," Texas Republican Joe Barton said, adding "a clean debt ceiling, I think, is capitulation."

House GOP leaders are unlikely to come up with a strategy this week. There is another meeting to discuss the issue next week.

Boehner has made it clear that he will not allow a default on the nation’s debt.

With no consensus on a strategy and a deadline approaching, it’s more likely the speaker will simply allow a vote on a “clean” debt bill.

The government effectively hits the debt ceiling on Friday, but the Treasury has some payment flexibility through accounting maneuvers for an additional month or so.

After that, it would rely solely on whatever cash on hand it has plus incoming tax revenue to meet obligations. But that would be insufficient to make all payments, raising the risk of default.

Republicans and Democrats have waged pitched political battles over spending and debt over the past two years.

More Americans would blame Republicans in Congress than President Barack Obama if the nation's debt ceiling is not raised, according to a new national poll.

The release of the CNN/ORC International survey on Monday came as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew issued yet another public warning to Congress to act quickly to extend the nation's borrowing authority.

Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they would blame the GOP in Congress if the debt ceiling isn't raised, with 29% saying they'd hold the President more responsible.


Filed under: House Republicans • Jack Lew • John Boehner • national debt • Obamacare
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. just asking

    just raise the stinking debt ceiling until we get competent republicans in office. democrats only have the same old tax, tax, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend approach. they won't be happy until the country is crushed under this debt. a strong vibrant and growing economy with as many people working as possible is the answer. obama and the democrats have proven their policies produce exactly the opposite, stagnation and record debt.

    February 5, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    Repubs. thinking about attacking Ins. Cos.?? They must REALLY Hate Obama!!

    February 5, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Neither keystone approval, nor repeal of Obamacare is possible. For these reasons, ACA is already a law. People signed into this insurances thru federal exchanges, keystone approval cause heavy damage environmentally–May be profitable to greedy republicans–not for ordinary Americans. It is like either you give Eye or Head. GOP is gone to dogs pretty much. Republican strategy is just wars,wars,wars, then kill, kill. Nothing more.

    February 5, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    Any GOPer that shows a spine and backs a clean bill will be a pariah in the party of pure thought/lack of free will

    February 5, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @just asking
    democrats only have the same old tax, tax, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend approach.
    --------–
    Federal spending is rising slower under Obama than it did under Bush right. So " spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend" is "bs, bs, bs, bs, bs, bs".
    The liberals' best friend is a conservative with his mouth wide open, ranting.

    February 5, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    The Dems stay strong, someday the GOP will actually – wait for it – compromise.

    February 5, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. pkMyt1

    Not good enough. A bipartisan budget deal was just passed. They new full well there was not enough revenue so now the government must borrow. No negotiation.

    February 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. xray vision

    The liberals best friend is a conservative with his mouth open, funny and true.

    February 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. just asking

    Silence DoGood
    @just asking
    democrats only have the same old tax, tax, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend approach.
    --––
    Federal spending is rising slower under Obama than it did under Bush right. So " spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend" is "bs, bs, bs, bs, bs, bs".
    --

    because obama and the democrats took the $800 billion in one time tarp emergency spending (that was mostly repaid) and turned it into a permanent part of the federal budget. are you going to deny this truth and lie some more?

    February 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @just asking, does your senseless rant include the fake Iraq war shrub #43 lied about? The WMDs that never were?
    Just asking!

    February 5, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Wall Street masters of the Guns Over People tea potty will NOT allow wingnut idiots to mess with their money.
    They will raise the ceiling AGAIN like they did the last time.

    February 5, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. TONE

    They are running scared and some of them will run to the dems for cover, some will run to the independents, mark my word many of them will change parties when they are primaried. The end of the party of stupid.

    February 5, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. xray vision

    Funny how now its election year, and the gop wants to do something all of a sudden. They won't of course, but they will tell you they do, but alas, couldn't vote yes, for any number of reasons, sounds familiar . Reminds me of 2010, jobs jobs jobs.

    February 5, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. rs

    Naturally the GOPpers want to ditch the so-called "insurance company bailout"- it saves the government billions of dollars. By removing it from the ACA costs actually go up. So much for "fiscal conservatism" eh?

    February 5, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    So basically the GOP was going to blackmail the POTUS in order to get the Keystone pipeline??

    Wow, and they call themselves patriots. Homeland Security can go ahead and dismantle itself. We don't need to worry about terrorists from other countries, the good ole boys from the GOP are more dangerous than any outside terrorists.

    Still harping on the ACA I see.

    February 5, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. rs

    just asking

    just raise the stinking debt ceiling until we get competent republicans in office. democrats only have the same old tax, tax, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend approach.
    ______________________
    Same old stuff, eh? The government by employee is smaller now than in 1968, and the defict is less than 4% of GNP. Federal spending has risen at the lowest levels in 20 years. Don't forget JA, the Democrats may tax and spend- but that's far better than what the GOP does: cut-taxes and spend.

    February 5, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. HenryMiller

    "President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats insist they want a clean measure and won't negotiate on raising the debt ceiling."

    The usual Leftist my way or the highway in aid of wasting more money the country doesn't have, coupled with screams of "Obstruction" when the GOP tries to delay the resultant economic collapse.

    February 5, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. rs

    The absolute idiocy of the Right is pretty spectacular- really guys? Threatening ANOTHER government shutdown? Just how low do you want your approval rating to be?

    February 5, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    just raise the stinking debt ceiling until we get competent republicans in office. democrats only have the same old tax, tax, borrow, borrow, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend approach. they won't be happy until the country is crushed under this debt. a strong vibrant and growing economy with as many people working as possible is the answer. obama and the democrats have proven their policies produce exactly the opposite, stagnation and record debt.
    ****************
    Find some competant Republicans first, but that would require them to have independent thoughts. Independent thoughts are not allowed to exist in the era of the mindless GOPers, whose herding instinct is strengthened by gerrymandering and cash from wealthy donors and astroturf groups. They are very good at braying about the Constitution in unison: its too bad they can't read it.

    February 5, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. rs

    Marie MD

    @just asking, does your senseless rant include the fake Iraq war shrub #43 lied about? The WMDs that never were?
    Just asking!
    _______________________
    No, for JA the world began on January 9, 2009. Nothing happened in America before that date.

    February 5, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Republicans, keep playing chicken with the debt ceiling and you'll live to regret it in November.

    February 5, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. just asking

    Marie MD
    @just asking, does your senseless rant include the fake Iraq war shrub #43 lied about? The WMDs that never were?
    Just asking!
    -–

    you mean the iraq war hillary clinton and many other democrats voted for and the intelligence that bill clinton and many other countries had and believed? mistakes about interpreting intellligence must be differentiated from open lies about keeping your healthcare plan that they knew were lies and actually debated in the white house about whether obama should continue to lie and mislead the american people.

    get it?

    February 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Country Girl

    Why is it Congress with all it's millionaires cannot understand the principle of the debt ceiling? It is for spending already agreed upon. It must be raised to allow what they approved. Pretty simple concept. The place to cut is in the budget. Raise the ceiling, meet your obligations and work toward achievable savings in the budget-and not on the back of the middle class or the elderly.

    February 5, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    Someone was making an appeal for competant Republicans to be elected. Well, a lot of us are too, but none of the good ones will run. Checking an ideological box is more important than competance to the average GOP primary voter.

    February 5, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. just asking

    rs
    Same old stuff, eh? The government by employee is smaller now than in 1968, and the defict is less than 4% of GNP. Federal spending has risen at the lowest levels in 20 years.
    --

    totally irrelevant gibberish meant to deflect from the nearly $18 trillion in accumulated debt (more than our national gdp) and heading towards $20 trillion because of obama and the democrats adding $10 trillion over the last 5 years and coming 3 years. not to mention the many many trillions in unfunded liabilities for social security and medicare.

    can you please tell us all just how must debt the left intends to heap onto the backs of future generations?

    February 5, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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