PoliticsGOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling

13:36  12 july  2019
13:36  12 july  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Republicans revolt against White House budget plan

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Republican lawmakers are pushing back on a new White House plan that calls for a vote on raising the debt ceiling before August and then revisiting GOP senators say there’s little desire in their conference to vote on a standalone proposal to increase the nation’s debt limit, something that’s

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GOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling© The Hill GOP balks at White House push for standalone vote on debt ceiling

Republican lawmakers are pushing back on a new White House plan that calls for a vote on raising the debt ceiling before August and then revisiting spending talks in the fall.

GOP senators say there's little desire in their conference to vote on a standalone proposal to increase the nation's debt limit, something that's broadly unpopular with the base.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said Republican leaders would have a tough time passing such a measure if it's not attached to a broader spending deal.

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House Republican leaders are pushing for a Wednesday vote to increase the debt ceiling , which they would tie While Republicans would like to get 218 votes on their side for the plan, they will Several GOP lawmakers indicated earlier Monday they would be unlikely to support the emerging proposal.

The White House has refused to negotiate on raising the debt ceiling , and talks on funding the government appear to be on a separate track — giving Most Republicans balked at the measure, but Boehner did draw 91 Republican votes . Still, conservatives are warning that an effort to immediately

"It's going to be very hard," he said of passing a standalone debt limit increase. "I don't know where the 60 votes would be to get it done, just by itself."

Democratic leaders have said for months they want to move a debt limit agreement and a spending deal in the same package.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday night that Congress should act on a budget caps deal to raise the debt limit before lawmakers leave town for the August recess.

"I am personally convinced that we should act on the caps and the debt ceiling," Pelosi told reporters, "prior to recess."

For a brief time, White House negotiators agreed the two issues should be coupled, but they have since started to change their minds as a deal with Democrats on the top-line spending numbers has proved elusive.

WH projects $1 trillion deficit for 2019

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(Watch: The debt ceiling : explained). The House had been effectively sidelined in recent days as Reid and In addition to ending the shutdown and raising the debt limit, the two Senate leaders were The White House refused, and the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected legislation to achieve the GOP

House votes to raise debt ceiling 02:32. The vote followed a reversal in strategy by Republican House Speaker John Boehner after he and other leaders pushed the night before to attach a In the later vote on the debt ceiling , only 28 of the 227 Republicans who voted wound up siding with 193

They are now worried that a spending deal with Pelosi will add more than $300 billion to the deficit over the next two years and damage Trump's reputation as a fiscal conservative with Republican voters.

By separating the debt limit from the spending talks, White House negotiators believe they will have more leverage to press Democrats to accept a smaller spending increase for domestic programs.

But congressional Republicans are warning the White House that a vote on just the debt limit would invite trouble.

"They may not appreciate the pragmatic concerns," Cornyn said.

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), the Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman, said Thursday afternoon it would be better to vote on a comprehensive package and avoid a vote on the debt limit alone.

One GOP senator who faces a potentially competitive race next year expressed concern that without a spending deal that raises the debt limit beyond the 2020 election, Democrats will force Republicans to take several votes to raise the debt limit incrementally between now and Election Day.

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Trying to round up votes from a reluctant rank and file, House Republicans said they would agree to increase the debt limit to avert a mid-October default only if Democrats accepted a list of Republican The Senate faces a critical vote on Friday to cut off debate on legislation to keep the government open.

"The Democrats are going to force us either to accept much higher spending levels or to vote on several debt-limit increases," the lawmaker said, requesting anonymity to discuss political strategy. "Debt-limit votes are hard for us."

The lawmaker warned that Democrats would love to have another standoff over the debt limit right before Election Day in order to rattle the financial markets and hurt GOP candidates.

Some Senate Republicans are already warning they will vote against increasing the debt limit, even if it is paired with a spending deal.

"When it comes to the debt limit, I'll be one of those that probably will be voting against raising it," said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), a newly elected freshman.

Failing to raise the debt ceiling would roil global financial markets and threaten recent economic gains.

A bill combining the debt limit increase with an eventual agreement on top-line spending numbers would be more palatable to lawmakers because it would let the appropriations process move forward and lessen the chance of another government shutdown.

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McConnell and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have stated consistently throughout the spring that they want to reach a two-year deal to put the appropriations process on stable footing and raise the debt limit beyond next year's election.

Shelby on Thursday said that is still his and McConnell's preference.

"[If] you got two together, you can create critical mass," he said. "I would do them together if I could."

Shelby said he agrees that voting on several stand-alone debt-limit increases isn't as smart politically as voting on the controversial issue just once and as part of a broader spending deal.

"I agree with that. I think we ought to go ahead and pay our debts, pay our bills - make sure that our credit is respected in the world markets and also try to get a number of certainty to appropriations issues," he said. "If you can do both together, you can create critical mass."

The White House in April first floated the idea of moving the debt limit separately from a deal setting top-line spending numbers for defense and non-defense programs. Administration officials later backed down after getting pushback from Congress.

But now Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is putting the stand-alone debt-limit increase idea back on the table because of an impasse between the White House and Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the spending figures.

Debt Limit Deal Hinges on Pelosi Review of Spending Cut Options

Debt Limit Deal Hinges on Pelosi Review of Spending Cut Options The White House late Thursday sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a proposed list of spending cuts to give her options for a budget agreement that she wants to include in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the proposal. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Trump administration is giving Democrats a menu of savings equaling at least $574 billion to offset the costs of a two-year budget cap agreement.

Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday after meeting with McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that Congress may need to pass the debt-limit increase before the August recess, even without a spending deal.

He said he discussed with GOP leaders "potentially the need to do something before everybody leaves."

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, on Monday warned that the federal government could hit the limit on its borrowing authority in early September, sooner than projected just a few months ago.

That puts pressure on Congress to vote on debt-limit legislation before leaving for the August recess early next month.

Democrats are questioning whether the debt limit will really expire in early September or whether the Trump administration is increasing the pressure to divorce the debt-limit and spending deal votes as a way to decrease Democratic leverage.

"There's no reason why we can't do it all," said Sen. Pat Leahy (Vt.). the senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "Why don't we just sit down, pass the appropriations bills, pass the debt limit or do them all? Everybody seems afraid to vote around here."

Asked if he believed the White House's warning that the debt limit will expire in early September instead of in October or November as previously projected, Leahy said, "I cannot imagine the Trump administration ever saying something that wasn't totally accurate and non-political," his voice heavy with sarcasm.

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Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend.
Negotiations between the Trump administration and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal are spilling over into the weekend amid growing signs of alarm from conservatives. The talks are down to discussions over the amount of cuts, or offsets, that will be included to help pay for the agreement to increase total defense and nondefense spending over the next two years. The administration is pushing for at least $150 billion in cuts to be included in the agreement. The White House reportedly sent a list of $574 billion in potential cuts to congressional leaders.

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