House GOP leaders discard two key demands for raising debt ceiling
February 5th, 2014
01:54 PM ET
7 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. emskadittle

    come on teaparty you cant stand for this, shut it down!

    February 5, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    It takes an election year for House Republicans to abandon their just say NO scorch earth tactics. They are doing it for their own self interests and not for love of country.

    February 5, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Tommy G

    Word of advice for the Republicans:

    While Obama and the Democrats are in the process of destroying themselves and their party thanks to Obamacare and their miserable failure to turn the economy and jobs situation around, please don't interfere with and distract from their ongoing disaster. The Liar of the Year has shown you the way. All you have to do is follow it.

    February 5, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Where were these people when Ronnie and Georgie porgie raised the debt ceiling whenever they wanted to???

    It's ok if you're a republican but socialism if you're not?

    February 5, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. rs

    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.
    ____________________
    Oh, the Congress creatures get it all right, they just want their posting minions here to somehow think it really is about rising debt (or something). It's just FOX News and Rush, and Glenn and the boys "misinterpreting" the facts for the masses so that they will vote against their own self-interest by voting GOP.

    February 5, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. truth hurts but reality bites

    Just bide your time until the Democrats are decimated in the 2014 midterm elections. One step at a time Republicans and Tea Partiers. It is not all achievable at once. Retain the House and take the Senate in 2014. 2016 will bring a competent Republican into the White House to lead the country out of the Obama-Demeocrat lost decade.

    February 5, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. rs

    truth hurts but reality bites

    Just bide your time until the Democrats are decimated in the 2014 midterm elections. One step at a time Republicans and Tea Partiers. It is not all achievable at once. Retain the House and take the Senate in 2014. 2016 will bring a competent Republican into the White House to lead the country out of the Obama-Demeocrat lost decade.
    _______________________
    Kinda like you guys did in that Red state Virginia?

    February 5, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Donna

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion."

    Senator Barack Obama, 2006

    Now the national debt is over twice as much, $18 TRILLION. Yes, leadership failure indeed. Failed Democrat leadership to address the ever growing threat to this country. Just ask many of our military leaders. The debt is a far bigger threat to the future of this country than ANY foreign threat.

    February 5, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. xray vision

    Yea, bide your time, ha ha ha, too funny!

    February 5, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    It's pretty clear that we need more revenue and not less spending for a nation of 330 million, the GOP has been getting a free ride for the last 20 years, running up deficts and trying to starve the goverment they hate AND work for PARTIME but they will be UNEMPLOYED after November. Even their gerrymandering won't save them!!!!!!!

    February 5, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. smith

    Both parties are a bunch of sellouts who have failed this country. Its not Obama and the dems vs the gop. It`s George Soros vs Koch Bros.

    February 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    -–don't rant on keep your healthcare plan, it is already fixed, by giving incentive under grandfather clause to companies just ONE YEAR LEVERAGE. Stop your baseless rant. Fixed. See you in 2015 January!! Clause says.

    February 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. TONE

    @Tommy G
    Do you mean thanks to the republicans for obstructing, and sabotaging every thing this President try to accomplish for the American people? so what about those jobs jobs jobs that the gop run on in 2010?, it's 4 years and they no jobs bill from the gop, only bills surrounding people's personal lives especially woman.

    February 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "2016 will bring a competent Republican into the White House to lead the country out of the Obama-Demeocrat lost decade."
    --------------------------------------
    Republicans can forget about the presidency for the foreseeable future. Your great white hope Christie is toast, Jeb has that last name & Rand Paul is....Rand Paul. Jokes on you if you think a republican will be President in the next 10 years.

    February 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    Word of advice for the Republicans:

    While Obama and the Democrats are in the process of destroying themselves and their party thanks to Obamacare and their miserable failure to turn the economy and jobs situation around, please don't interfere with and distract from their ongoing disaster.
    -----------
    I have always wondered this. If Obama's terrible failure is so obvious and imminent, why are conservative bankers, web hackers, pundits, spending time, money and effort desperately to sabotage it? You do not sabotage something that is falling down already. Unless it really is not falling down. Tommy – you have been lied to! They must sabotage it, otherwise it will simply succeed on its own. It is like throwing rock at a window to prove your argument that it is broken.

    February 5, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "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?"

    The misinformation is strong with this one.

    February 5, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    While it may look like the establishment is regaining control of the Republican Party, this development is only temporary. They're going to do what they always do, which is renege on their promises. I'm sorry. I just cannot believe that some elements would pass up an opportunity to conduct yet another "repeal Obamacare" vote.

    February 5, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Sniffit

    "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?"

    The misinformation is strong with this one.
    *******************
    Yes, lies, deception, panic, hysteria are their ways.

    February 5, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    I've been saying that very thing for years Silence DoGood. Yet no one has given me a credible answer yet......

    February 5, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Gunderson

    Well, Lessee,
    Obummy Care is the Law of the Land. given to us by Who? Raising the Debt Ceiling is for things already racked up. Fiscal Responsibility is for Conservatives. Spending excess money is for Liberal's. Other people's money, that is. Some think there is tons of money ready and available, for the taking. Well according to the Liberal's who want to run the country, there is, all they have to do is go steal it, legally. People that have money move it offshore to keep the Liberals from stealing it. So a need to raise the Debt Ceiling, because the peasants elected a bunch of crooks, who think it is allright to help themselves to other people's money. Just today, the Congressional Budget Office posted that Obama Care will cost about another 2.5 Million jobs. The Peasants don't care. They Elected a bunch of Crooks that will steal for them. Any more questions?

    February 5, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ***************************
    Since when has the GOP ever averted an economic collapse? They create them, and then claim credit for other people cleaning up their screwups.

    February 5, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. deee510

    Yes hopefully boehner can put a muzzle on the idiots who talked him into shutting down the government last time.2014 elections will hopefully get these republicans on the unemployment line so they can feel how other Americans feel when they gamble with peoples lives

    February 5, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    @Wake up People!
    I've been saying that very thing for years Silence DoGood. Yet no one has given me a credible answer yet......
    --------–
    The radical Right is so invested in broken government that they WILL break it if needed. (Cruz et. al.)

    February 5, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    smith

    Both parties are a bunch of sellouts who have failed this country. Its not Obama and the dems vs the gop. It`s George Soros vs Koch Bros.
    ----------------------–
    You seem to have an awful lot to complain about. Besides, "you're on your own," you offer no solutions to any of the actual problems that the people in this country face.

    February 5, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. xray vision

    The problem I see for the gop is that they have absolutely no accomplishments to run on, their entire campaign will be an attack on the Democrats. Hate and greed only get you so far, you simply can't run a country on that platform,

    February 5, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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