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House GOP Leaders Consider Four-Year Debt Limit Deal
Roll Call ^ | Jan. 14, 2013 | Daniel Newhauser

Posted on 01/15/2013 7:21:02 AM PST by Qbert

With the administration’s debt ceiling deadline fast approaching, House Republican leaders are considering a four-year debt limit increase that would take the issue off the table for the rest of President Barack Obama’s presidency.

The plan would, however, come at no easy price for Obama, who pledged as recently as Monday morning not to negotiate with Republicans on a debt ceiling hike. Republicans would demand major tax and entitlement changes — the latter of which has been anathema to many Democrats — and they could also ask for movement on the sequester and an expiring continuing resolution that must be dealt with in the next three months.

The idea was one of many brought up over Sunday and Monday, as Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and his leadership team and staff held a strategy session in Warrenton, Va.

“We have an opportunity to inject years of certainty while doing some fundamental tax reform and entitlement reform,” said Rep. Steve Southerland II of Florida, the sophomore class leadership representative, who was at the meeting.

In addition to the four-year plan, ideas for extending the debt ceiling ranged from a one- or two-year increase to one that would last only 30 or 60 days.

Still, the ultimate decision on which path to take will not be forged until the rank and file have their say at the full conference retreat, which starts Wednesday in Williamsburg, Va. It is a function of the decentralized power that Boehner holds: He sets the agenda, but it is up to his conference whether to accept it.

“We all agreed we need to get the input from our conference on how to move forward,” said Conference Vice Chairwoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas. “We know we have to be unified because division hinders our ability to get things done.”

The retreat’s theme of “One Conference, Many Voices,” belies just how wounded, fractured and lacking in direction the House Republican Conference is as it enters the 113th Congress. Boehner was rebuffed by his conference in attempts to pass deals to avert the fiscal cliff. And a few members went on to voice votes of no confidence when they tried to mount a coup against Boehner before he was re-elected to the speakership on Jan. 3.

So in that respect, the retreat will be about much more than just the next three months. It will be about defining the next two years. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘What is winning in this scenario?’” a GOP leadership aide said. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘What is the role of the House Republican Conference in an Obama administration?’”

Leadership members realize they have two years worth of legislation to manage, and at the leadership retreat, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia laid out some of the big-ticket legislation that must be reauthorized, such as a transportation bill and the No Child Left Behind education law.

An immigration overhaul is also on the horizon, and at the conference retreat, Gov. Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico, once the commonwealth’s resident commissioner in Congress, will share a panel discussion with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell during which the issue is sure to come up, according to aides.

The conference will also hear from conservative media figures such as Bill Kristol, Ramesh Ponnuru and Kim Strassel. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and Domino’s Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle will also attend.

There is, of course, a recognition that the pressing issues of the day must be dealt with first. Absent an agreement among the conference about how to tackle the debt ceiling, much of the retreat will be devoted to the issue, with large chunks of time allotted for general conference discussion.

While the conservative bloc could possibly back a four-year extension, the concessions they would demand from the other side could end up being more than Democrats want to put on the table.

Meanwhile, temporary debt limit patches might be just as unpalatable to Republicans, who could be open to primary challengers from the right in 2014, and who could rightly claim that members voted several times in a two-year span to raise the debt ceiling.

Some conservative members of the Republican Study Committee believe they should allow the country to pass over the debt limit because they remain skeptical of leadership’s dedication to reduced spending and believe reaching the debt limit would force the cuts immediately, rather than having to rely on cuts down the road, as they did with the 2011 debt limit deal.

“Frankly, it sounds like 2011 all over again.  . . .  A lot of our guys are just sick of that,” one conservative aide said. “I’m not entirely unconvinced that we’re not heading in the same direction.”

As a result, they will likely push bills, such as those touted by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., that would prioritize spending and allow items at the bottom of the list to be cut if the debt limit is reached. RSC Chairman Steve Scalise of Louisiana alluded to the plan in a Monday statement.

“Hitting the debt ceiling does not immediately trigger a default unless [Obama’s] administration fails to do its job and prioritize our debt payments. Default is not an option unless President Obama and his administration choose it to be,” he said.

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: debtceiling

1 posted on 01/15/2013 7:21:16 AM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

I counted 6 times the word ‘retreat’ was used in the article.. of course it was as a noun and not a verb, but it seemed apt nevertheless.

I’m not sure who the author, Daniel Newhauser, is but I gotta wonder if he believes in subliminal persuasion.

2 posted on 01/15/2013 7:35:47 AM PST by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: Qbert

A great idea would be for the congress to create some kind of super-committee that would decide where the cuts would be and institute cuts automatically if they don’t decide.

Oh, wait, we did that already.

3 posted on 01/15/2013 7:38:06 AM PST by cotton1706
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To: Qbert


Make ‘em 30 days at a time and with each reauthorization reduce the borrowing limit by 10%.

4 posted on 01/15/2013 7:41:02 AM PST by technically right
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To: Qbert

I can’t believe these idiots don’t play politics with the budget. The rats do it, and did it when they had control. A simple solution would be to starve rat districts of any pork, and reduce the number of accepted appropriations from rat senators. Completely drop any appropriation from Reid, use the excuse of the alleged bribes. Hit them where it hurts. Furthermore, I am not sure if they can do it, cut the White House budget by half. Be creative. Know that the rats will give them no quarter, so why give it to them.

5 posted on 01/15/2013 7:44:22 AM PST by ABQHispConservative (Only fake Christians vote or are Democrats.)
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To: Qbert

The House cannot legally pass a four-year debt extension deal — no Congress can bind a future Congress to any specific action and we will have a new House in two years. I wonder if these bozos really believe they have this power — no wonder things are so screwed up.

6 posted on 01/15/2013 7:45:19 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Qbert
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and his leadership team and staff held a strategy session....

I have this vision of a bunch of clowns getting out of a little car at the circus, for some reason.

7 posted on 01/15/2013 7:47:31 AM PST by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin......Nuff said.)
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To: technically right


Yep. I love how they told us not to worry about the "fiscal cliff" deal because they were supposedly going to extract big cuts in the short term out of Obama with their leverage... and now Obama gives one speech, and some of them are already trembling in fear.

8 posted on 01/15/2013 7:52:54 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert


I try not to throw that word around too much, but I do HATE these guys.

9 posted on 01/15/2013 8:06:50 AM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: Thorliveshere

“I try not to throw that word around too much, but I do HATE these guys.”

I don’t think you are alone. My revulvsion for them is only slightly less than for king hussein lately.

10 posted on 01/15/2013 8:09:42 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Qbert

It’sa good thing we pay our politicians so much, otherwise we couldn’t have the best and the brightest.

The GOP is a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkies.

I have more respect for the French, and I mean a lot more.

11 posted on 01/15/2013 8:16:27 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Cincinatus

A four year extension does not bind Congress but rather authorizes the president so that no additional authorization is needed over the next four years. A future Congress, or indeed the present Congress, could later modify or repeal that authorization but such an action would have to pass a possible presidential veto threat.

Nevertheless, it is still a bad idea.

12 posted on 01/15/2013 8:32:30 AM PST by Petrosius
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To: Qbert

“House GOP Leaders Consider Four-Year Debt Limit Deal”

Do these guys know how to capitulate, or what?

13 posted on 01/15/2013 8:36:07 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: Qbert

Oh, those responsible adult Republicans are at it again.

“Dad, we maxed out the credit card, so we need another one.”

“We don’t think it’s a good idea, but here is another one. Don’t let it happen again. And I mean it this time.”

14 posted on 01/15/2013 8:39:36 AM PST by EricT. (The GOP's sole purpose is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party.)
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To: Qbert
This is just an example of why so many people are done with the republican party and the entire broken system.

15 posted on 01/15/2013 8:42:29 AM PST by ThermoNuclearWarrior (
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To: Qbert

Ugh. This country is doomed unless God chooses to intervene.

16 posted on 01/15/2013 8:49:55 AM PST by MEGoody (You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Road Glide

Yup. This is firing the first salvo of the latest republican cave.

17 posted on 01/15/2013 8:56:11 AM PST by HeartlandOfAmerica (Get in touch with your galtitude!)
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To: Qbert
Due to the pressure from many interests groups found on both sides of the aisle (Sometimes working in conjunction), any debt ceiling will not be honored. The only time a “balanced budget” will be reached is when the Treasury/Congress starts defaulting due to massive debt and do not have anymore tricks up their sleeves, so to speak.

In essence, we are just in an economic free fall where clouds obscure the ground so we don't know when we will produce a bloody blot.

One thing is for sure, we better not cut the military (Waste or inefficient areas are ok to cut) or promising defense tech, because we will need that stuff when the default starts and this global economy crashes down to reality.

18 posted on 01/15/2013 9:06:19 AM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: EricT.

Last time Republicans were fiscally responsible was Harding who chose to “do nothing”, only cut taxes/spending (Mostly war related) and leave the government out of the stimulus arena. Most historians/people think Harding/Coolidge were bad Presidents and tied both of them to government interventionalist Hoover who did a total 180 degrees, lol, we are so screwed.

19 posted on 01/15/2013 9:15:55 AM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: Cincinatus
I wonder if these bozos really believe they have this power — no wonder things are so screwed up.

Hate to break the news but the House did exactly that with health care, and Boehner used that to shut down Bachman's attempt to defund the bill.

The democrats funded the travesty through 2014 and now you know why the Senate has not attempted to pass a budget. No budget no amendments, that could defund their communist agenda.

20 posted on 01/15/2013 10:39:51 AM PST by itsahoot (Any enemy, that is allowed to have a King's X line, is undefeatable. (USS Taluga AO-62))
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