House Republicans are nearing a decision on whether to force a political standoff over the debt ceiling in a bid to win approval for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Congress on Monday that the nation’s borrowing limit could be exhausted as early as the end of the month, a signal that lawmakers will soon need to raise the debt limit to prevent default.
But a debt-ceiling vote won’t come easy.
The Washington Post reports that House leadership is planning to make any vote to increase federal borrowing authority contingent on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf Coast, or repeal of a provision of the president’s signature health care law.
The provision of the Affordable Care Act that’s at stake would mitigate financial risk for health insurance operators in the first three years they operate on the law’s new health care exchanges.
House leadership has not yet decided which route to take. A meeting of lower-chamber conservatives at the Capitol on Tuesday is likely to shed light on which alternative will attract more support.
Congressional Republicans have long considered the possibility of forcing a vote to approve the pipeline, a project whose profile was raised at the end of last week when a State Department finding concluded that the pipeline probably would not have any major bearing on the rate of Canadian oil sands development.
Still, the political gambit isn’t likely to win over all members of the party.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, shied away from the idea of linking the debt limit to a vote on Keystone XL.
“Keystone ought to be approved on its own merits; it doesn’t need to be tied to the debt ceiling,” Scalise told The Washington Post. “I don’t think that would be enough for a lot of RSC members to support. I’d like to see a repeal of the bailouts for the insurance companies. That’s becoming a real strong prospect; it’d be good to put it on the table.”
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.