No Closer to Ending the Shutdown, Lawmakers Begin Debt Fight

Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama at the White House Wednesday on the second day of the government shutdown. 
National Journal
Billy House and Michael Catalini
Add to Briefcase
Billy House Michael Catalini
Oct. 7, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

A brawl over the debt lim­it is start­ing in Con­gress without an end to the gov­ern­ment shut­down, and there are few signs of a swift res­ol­u­tion for either is­sue. Many Re­pub­lic­ans are dis­miss­ing warn­ings from Demo­crats about the con­sequences of breach­ing the ceil­ing and are con­tinu­ing to seek con­ces­sions on fed­er­al spend­ing.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., is ex­pec­ted to in­tro­duce a bill Tues­day that would raise the debt lim­it through the 2014 midterm elec­tions, ac­cord­ing to Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate aides. A pro­ced­ur­al vote on the mo­tion could come Fri­day or Sat­urday, ac­cord­ing to a Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic aide.

In the House, Speak­er John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he doesn’t in­tend to let the coun­try de­fault. But he’s also said that the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled cham­ber does not have enough votes to pass a “clean” debt-ceil­ing bill.

In oth­er words, House Re­pub­lic­ans con­tin­ue to in­sist that any in­crease in the na­tion’s bor­row­ing lim­it must be pack­aged with oth­er pro­vi­sions sought by the GOP ma­jor­ity.

Boehner and his con­fer­ence are set to meet be­hind closed doors at the Cap­it­ol on Tues­day.

Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans have, as they have signaled for months, be­gun sketch­ing what they want in re­turn for sup­port­ing a high­er debt lim­it, in­clud­ing en­ti­tle­ment re­forms, spend­ing cuts, and changes in Obama­care.

“We’ve got to get some re­forms, and this is the lo­gic­al place to do it be­cause it’s like go­ing to the bank to bor­row money,” said Sen. John Ho­even, R-N.D. “When you go to the bank [the banker] says, “˜OK, how are you go­ing to make ad­just­ments so you don’t have to keep bor­row­ing?’ “

Re­pub­lic­ans are con­fid­ent that they can ne­go­ti­ate something in ex­change for a ceil­ing hike, feel­ing cer­tain Re­id won’t be able to get the six GOP sen­at­ors he’ll need to reach 60 votes — and that’s as­sum­ing all Demo­crats vote with the ma­jor­ity lead­er.

“I just don’t think he’s go­ing to get his clean debt ceil­ing,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

But Demo­crats are skep­tic­al that Re­pub­lic­ans would risk tak­ing on the pos­sible blame if the coun­try flirts with a first-ever de­fault on its debt.

“It’s one thing to say you have lever­age. It’s an­oth­er thing to use it,” said Sen. Chris­toph­er Coons, D-Del. “All I’m try­ing to con­vey is that I think there are enough folks who re­cog­nize that to ser­i­ously con­tem­plate us­ing it means risk­ing mis­cal­cu­la­tion and risk­ing ser­i­ous harm to our eco­nomy.”

Demo­crats were hes­it­ant to talk about the de­tails of Re­id’s bill since it had not yet been in­tro­duced, but they did sug­gest such a bill could sur­pass the 60-vote threshold.

“At this point, cer­tainly the re­spons­ible thing to do is pay our bills,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “Cer­tainly we have Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues that un­der­stand that.”

There were mixed sig­nals Monday on wheth­er House GOP lead­ers might press ahead this week with an­oth­er ver­sion of their own debt-ceil­ing bill. Some aides to Boehner said they were un­aware of any plan to do so, while oth­ers said they ex­pec­ted it to oc­cur later in the week.

What We're Following See More »
PLENTY OF MISTAKES IN COVERT TESTS
Report: U.S. Ill-Equipped to Detect Dirty Bomb
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
RESTROOM ISSUES RETURN
Trump To Rescind Trans Protections
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Donald Trump is planning to reverse an Obama-era order requiring that schools allow students to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Trump "has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance." A case is going before the Supreme Court on March 28 in which Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student, is suing his high school for forbidding him to use the men's room.

Source:
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
“HORRIBLE” AND “PAINFUL”
Trump Addresses Threats On Jewish Community Centers
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login