House Republicans to demand condition for raising debt limit
February 10th, 2014
02:54 PM ET
9 months ago

House Republicans to demand condition for raising debt limit

Update 7:19 p.m. ET, 2/10/2014

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans will demand a condition in return for raising the debt limit, according lawmakers following a closed-door GOP meeting on Monday.

The vote to raise the government’s borrowing authority, which is necessary to pay its bills, could come as early as Wednesday but nothing is scheduled yet.

The plan would raise the debt limit until March 2015, which gets Congress beyond the midterm elections.

It also would repeal cuts to military pensions that were part of the recently passed budget. Reduced annual cost-of-living increases for some veterans were part of a compromise spending deal for the current fiscal year.

Repealing the pension cuts under the Republican plan would be paid for by extending for one year sweeping federal spending reductions known as sequester.

Republicans dropped another demand floated earlier - to attach the so-called “doc fix” to the debt bill, which would head off cuts to physicians who treat Medicare patients.

Congressional Democrats and the White House have insisted they want “clean” debt-ceiling legislation - meaning no conditions attached.

House Republicans huddled Monday to try to get consensus on the measure, according to two senior House GOP leadership aides.

But internal divisions among members are potentially pushing the issue right up to the deadline at the end of the month.

The pressure to come up with a plan now is due to the calendar.

The House is in session through Wednesday because Democrats meet for their annual retreat at the end of the week and the chamber is in recess next week.

If a vote doesn't happen by Wednesday the debate gets pushed until February 25 – just two days before the Treasury Department says it will no longer be able to pay all of the government's bills.

House Speaker John Boehner and top GOP leaders still want to get some concessions in return for agreeing to more federal borrowing.

Since congressional Democrats insist they will not negotiate on the measure, Boehner is still searching for a proposal that could pass with largely with Republican votes.

House GOP leaders know a group of conservatives will oppose any debt measure. Many of those lawmakers are urging Boehner to just schedule a vote on a "clean" bill and move on.

Failure to get agreement on a GOP plan this week make it more likely he will allow a vote without conditions that would pass with mostly Democratic support.

One Republican told CNN the response to the GOP leadership proposal was “all over the place.”

One conservative, Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, told reporters that he opposed the way Republicans would pay for the plan, and he didn’t believe it would get the 218 votes needed to pass.

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, said he believes Democrats will have to help pass the bill.

"I believe they will. You can take that to the bank," he said. “It’s the only proposal I think that they believe that enough Republicans and Democrats will vote for it to get it through.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Colorado, said that progress is still needed.

“We don’t have a bill yet, all we did was discuss a variety of concepts. We’ll see where we end up," he said.

Republicans across the ideological spectrum agree that after last October’s federal government shutdown it’s not worth getting into a big battle over must-pass legislation that some warn could rattle financial markets.

But Democrats are likely to continue to reject proposals to add items to the bill.

"We're not going to pay a ransom of any kind in return for Congress doing its job. We'll take Republican leaders at their word when they say they will not let the United States default," White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.

CNN's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.


Filed under: House Republicans • national debt
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Watch Boehner and his gang of Teahadists blame it on the democrats for taking their retreat. Just watch! They won't pass a clean debt ceiling bill. They'll hold the country hostage once again and bring us to the brink of disaster.

    February 10, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People tea potty Wall Street masters are whipping their heads everyday until they cave in.

    February 10, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Tommy G

    Pretty funny that the most dirty and corrupt Democrat Party wants "a clean bill". Maybe the Republicans should ask Obama just how much debt he would like approved? Have him tell the country how much more debt he intends to rack up over the next 3 years? Another 2-3 TRILLION???

    February 10, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Mr. Balls

    Do these people ever adjust their schedules to deal with reality?

    February 10, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Psst. Here's the plan. They're trying to figure out a way to renege on their promise not to make another attempt to repeal the ACA again. The problem is that they cannot agree on how to blame the President for making them add the amendment, yet. These GUYS are very good at fitting a square peg into a round hole. They should all work for Fisher-Price.

    February 10, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Richard Long

    How are we supposed to ensure China's wealth and prosperity for generations to come if we do not raise the Debt Ceiling? The "Amateur" Community Organizer has no clue how to run the country with the former most powerful economy in the world.
    Why promise a 'laser-like focus on jobs on the economy" when:
    - provide the people "free" gifts
    - raise taxes instead of having a health economy pour money into the national coffers
    - borrow more money

    February 10, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. O'drama ya Mama

    You dont get to ask for something in return for paying bills you already said you would pay.

    February 10, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Maybe the Republicans should ask Obama just how much debt he would like approved?

    The GOP/Teatrolls already passed a 2 year budget deal that SETS the amount of debt that NEEDS to be approved and Obama signed it. THAT should answer all questions on the subject. This has nothing to do with "how much debt Obama wants approved." How much debt NEEDS to be approved is already written into the laws/budget.

    February 10, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Everyone call up your mortgage company and tell them you're not paying your mortgage until they give you an in-ground pool in the backyard. Go on...make the call....

    February 10, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    Pretty funny that the most dirty and corrupt Democrat Party wants "a clean bill". Maybe the Republicans should ask Obama just how much debt he would like approved? Have him tell the country how much more debt he intends to rack up over the next 3 years? Another 2-3 TRILLION???
    ------------------------–
    The Republican controlled House has already approved the debt. It was called a "budget agreement." Now they have to figure out a way to pay for it, which will mean borrowing. The *actual* question is how much, not should we or shouldn't we.

    February 10, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Winning

    Hey, Tommy G, maybe the Republicans should have addressed the debt IN THE BUDGET THAT PASSED WITH A MAJORITY OF THEIR VOTES if they had a problem with the debt!!! You know, that's where the debt comes from, the budget, not the debt ceiling.

    I often wonder how the Republicans get any votes at all, and then I read comments like yours and realize that their voters just don't know any better.

    February 10, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Will Boehner fiddle while the country burns once again? Its actually funny watching the usual list of pschopathic posters on here, like Tommy G, Richard Long and others, once again demonstrate their criminal lack of comprehension about how our government works because its just so much easier to cheer FOX talking points instead of telling Boehner to do his damn job and pay for things he already agreed to.

    February 10, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. rla

    Everyone needs to pay the bills until you get so far in debt that no one will lend you money and as is the case of this government they promised way too much and noe of them have the intellegence to limit the handouts because of political fear- I don't want any one of them to cry about the poor welfare trapped in government welfare web nor how much they care... JOBS would solve the problem, a tax code that works would also help solve the problem

    February 10, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. Tommy G

    O'drama ya Mama
    You dont get to ask for something in return for paying bills you already said you would pay.
    --

    Then why did Democrats always tack on bills to previous debt increases? Why was it OK for them to do it but now all of a sudden something they refuse to allow others to do?

    Frankly, I'd rather see this country shut down entirely than to see it continue on its current path to destruction. My kids didn't get to vote on the $10 TRILLION Obama and the Democrats is piling on their backs. Now billions more in federal benefits for gays thanks to Obama. Who are we going to borrow THAT money from?

    No more debt, cut the spending. Obama and the Democrats ALREADY raised taxes by trillions. But won't cut one cent from spending.

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Well, at least we can delay right until the deadline is about to be breached and pretend that we just might cause a default...that should damage the economy a bit and is about all we can get out of it at this point."

    February 10, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    These GOP CLOWNS better pass the bill. These are congress bills that THEY VOTED FOR. The congress is responsible for paying the bills, SO PAY THEM, GOP MORONS!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. hellsyeahs

    The teanuts in congress signed, sealed and delivered a $1.2 TRILLION DOLLAR fed budget. That's on them. Sorry, teabags, you aren't the party of fiscal responsibility you claim yourselves to be. Fortunately America sees you nuts for what you are......nuts.
    13% Approval rating. Bang up job!

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. ChrisM

    Go ahead GOPers , shut down the government again, I dare you! ( of course your approval rating is in the single digits from the last time you shut down the government )

    February 10, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The incompetent GOP morons HAVE NO CHANCE of KEEPING the house in 2014 running on your losing anti healthcare agenda. Even most sane republicans WONT vote for your total incompetence over the last six YEARS, get ready to lose the house and BLAME YOURSELVES!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Hector Slagg

    Sure,
    Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling. Otherwise the Nanny State will collapse. With Liberal's in charge we are foiled again!

    February 10, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein

    Just get the clean debt ceiling bill to the Senate please. There is no reason to do otherwise.

    February 10, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. duke

    Ah, Old Yellow-Stain, what will you do, what WILL you do?

    "Hey, I know – let's give the AMerican public a chance to remember exactly WHO tried this before and WHAT the consequences were! That's sure to get us a majority inboth houses, AND secure the White House!

    February 10, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    O'drama ya Mama
    You dont get to ask for something in return for paying bills you already said you would pay.

    Then why did Democrats always tack on bills to previous debt increases? Why was it OK for them to do it but now all of a sudden something they refuse to allow others to do?
    -----------------------------
    Oh, that's easy. That stuff was called pork, and Republicans have insisted that the Democrats don't do it anymore.

    February 10, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |