Don’t expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling.
“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
McConnell appeared to defer to his House GOP counterparts to figure out what, exactly, they can extract using the leverage of the debt ceiling. “I can’t imagine it being done ‘clean,’ so we’ll have to see what the House insists on adding to it as a condition for passage.”
His comments come after House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said over the weekend that his caucus, with Senate counterparts, will have to “meet and discuss what it is we want out of the debt limit.”
“We don’t want nothing out of this debt limit,” Paul said on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt-limit fight.”
Congress may not have to face the prospect of raising the country’s borrowing limit until March, or maybe even as late as June, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
McConnell, who has been relatively mum on the debt limit in the government-shutdown aftermath, still eyes the debt limit as something that Republicans can use to get something out of the administration and Democratic congressional leaders.
“Every time the president asks us to raise the debt ceiling is a good time to try and achieve something important for the country, and as you all know, many significant pieces of legislation have been attached to debt ceilings over the years,” McConnell said Tuesday. “The debt-ceiling legislation is a time that brings us all together and gets the president’s attention, which with this president in particular when it comes to reducing spending, is a bit of a challenge.”
What We're Following See More »
"A lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates told the High Court 'time had run out' for the baby. Mr. Gard said it meant his 'sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy' will not reach his first birthday on 4 August. 'To let our beautiful little Charlie go' is 'the hardest thing we'll ever have to do,' his mother said. Charlie's parents said they made the decision because a US doctor had told them it was now too late to give Charlie nucleoside therapy.
"Eleven states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its June decision to delay implementation of a chemical safety rule" until 2019. "The state attorneys general, led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman (D), argue the rule is important for 'protecting our workers, first-responders and communities from chemical accidents' and should be allowed to take affect as planned by the Obama administration’s EPA.
"House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Monday said that funding for President Trump's controversial border wall is unlikely to cause a government shutdown. 'The odds of a government shutdown are very minimal when it comes to that,' the conservative lawmaker said at an event in Washington, D.C. 'I do think the funding of the border wall will happen,' he added. Appropriators have set aside $1.6 billion to fund new wall and fencing sections on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border covering a few dozen miles."