Skip to comments.House Republicansí United Front: Take default off the table ,leave room to negotiate spending cuts
Posted on 01/23/2013 7:57:03 AM PST by SeekAndFind
House Republicans on Wednesday are hoping to present a united front and jump-start the next several months worth of budget negotiations by approving a short-term debt-limit extension with near-unanimous GOP support.
Members will vote on a limited suspension of the federal debt limit through May 19, which would temporarily allow the Treasury Department to issue new debt to cover obligations incurred during that period, along with a measure that would withhold Senators pay if they fail to pass a budget.
All were saying is: If the president and the Senate, if this country needs to incur more debt Senate, please show us your plan to repay that debt, please show us your plan to control spending, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) told reporters Tuesday.
At a press conference Tuesday evening, House leaders declined to say if they had enough votes to pass the bill. However, several GOP aides and lawmakers tell National Review Online that the measure will probably pass with a limited number of defections.
I think theres more unity now on this issue than probably anything else Ive seen since Ive been here, said Representative Tim Griffin (R., Ark.), echoing a popular sentiment among members including many conservatives following a two-hour GOP conference meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday.
Were all in, says Representative Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.).
The bills passage would spare House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and his leadership team a repeat of the embarrassing Plan B debacle in December, when they had to cancel a vote on their preferred fiscal-cliff legislation because they lacked sufficient GOP support.
For Boehner, it would also be a significant reaffirmation of his leadership following a rough patch of several weeks that included a failed attempt to oust him as speaker. Since the failed coup, he has worked hard to return conservative members to the fold by listening to them and incorporating their ideas.
Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), a prominent conservative member, told reporters he would support the bill, noting that House leaders had performed admirably under very difficult circumstances.
Another conservative GOP congressman praised leadership for the way it has adjusted to changes within the conference, by allowing ideas to grow from the bottom and work their way up.
The plan thats up for a vote on Wednesday originated in a working group of conservative members including House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.); Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.), who is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC); and Representatives Tom Price (R., Ga.), Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), and Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), all former RSC chairmen.
After introducing the plan last week during the House Republican retreat in Williamsburg, Va., GOP leaders worked with members to retool the final bill and address members concerns.
On Tuesday, Ryan and Cantor huddled with RSC members to urge a united front. At the conference meeting that evening, Boehner made a further appeal to conservatives by committing to produce a House budget that would balance within a ten-year window.
Representative Tom Graves (R., Ga.), a conservative who said he was still undecided on how hell vote, praised this commitment as an important step. Theyve been very explicit about putting forward bold solutions and balancing the budget in ten years, and that has certainly piqued my interest, he says of House leadership. I applaud them for that. But its going to require some tough decisions in the future.
The commitment to a balanced budget was also key in persuading influential activist groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action both of which played a role in scuttling Boehners Plan B to hold their fire on the short-term extension.
Not all members have been persuaded, however. Franks says that although the bill is likely to pass, there has been some fraying around the edges, mostly owing to concerns over the political optics of voting for a clean debt-limit extension, without any spending cuts attached.
Raising the debt ceiling for a budget to be named later is something that I probably wont be able to vote for, says Representative Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.), an outspoken Boehner critic.
A conservative GOP aide was quick to dismiss such dissent as insignificant. The outliers in this case are going to be outliers on almost anything, says the aide. Conservatives are behind this plan. Their support is indicative of a growing consensus on a longer-term political strategy; members spoke of the short-term extension as merely the first component in the constellation of decisions Washington pols will have to make over the next several months.
House Republicans are eager to shift the focus of the debate by highlighting the outright refusal of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to present a Democratic budget (as required by law) for more than three years. Several members noted their delight at the success of recent social-media campaigns, such as the Twitter hashtag #NoBudgetNoPay. The public is on our side when it comes to spending, Griffin tells NRO.
Members are openly angry, and almost envious, that Senate Democrats have suffered virtually no repercussions for failing to do their job, even as they have relentlessly attacked Republicans for their support of Paul Ryans previous budgets. We cant go another year where theyre always on offense and were always on defense, remarks one GOP aide.
The bill, if passed, would also push back the prospect of a default on the national debt, something GOP leaders wanted to take off the table, at least temporarily, in order to boost their political leverage.
All this nonsense about default and shutting down the government, its no way to have an argument, one GOP lawmaker tells NRO. Lets give ourselves some breathing room to have a real debate about the issues.
If everything goes according to plan on Wednesday, Reid will be hard pressed not to hold a vote in the Senate, especially since the White House has already signaled it would not oppose the bill.
However, Reid and other Democrats offered no indication Tuesday that they plan to put forward a budget; Reid told reporters he had not yet had time to meet with Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.).
Well approach that when we need to, said Senator Ben Cardin (D., Md.), a senior member of the Budget Committee.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), for his part, declined to endorse the House plan during a press conference. We look forward to seeing what Senate Democrats recommend, he said.
Senate sources say Republicans are pleased that Senate Democrats may finally be forced to produce a budget, but they have concerns that no spending cuts are attached to the debt-limit extension. It remains to be seen whether Harry Reid will permit some of his most vulnerable members, up for reelection in red-leaning states in 2014, to cast a series of challenging votes on spending and tax issues that could compromise his Senate majority. They will be forced to if he decides to bring a budget to the floor.
Republicans are hoping the political cost of doing nothing will be too high. This is a lose/lose for Harry Reid, says a GOP Senate aide.
Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review.
Clueless... absolutely clueless.
They could have done this 4 years ago. Kabuki theatre at its best.
Scuze me they could have done this 2 years ago. :)
Yes, FIRST give Hussein everything his handlers want....
See how well that worked the last several times they tried that?
RE: They could have done this 4 years ago.
The House was controlled by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats 4 years ago. Something like this would not have passed the House then.
If you mean 2 years ago (i.e. 2011), that would have been more achievable.
How many lines are we going to draw in the sand?
They are playing smash-mouth politics and we are playing mother may I.
They better try something different like this. The approaches last year were a disaster unless you were O.
The GOP has yet to win one of these congress vs POTUS (let alone one House alone) gov shutdown direct confrontationss because they didnt know how to keep public opinion on their side in them.
New caved and passed Clinton his CR and got re-elected, the past two years seem even worse because everyone ends up mad at the GOP as a result, to Os delight.
Dems are united behind O, that is how they won.
If boner promises to submit a budget that balances after 10 years, he had better show cuts immediately. Today’s congress cannot impel any legislation on any subsequent congress. Any promise of a future cut is no promise at all.
It’s a start. Should have been done in 2011 but they were all too scared, too confident Obama would be defeated, and too damn stupid to listen to Michelle Bachmann.
Guys, slow down.
Two years ago was quite a victory, as it turns out. August 2011 was the when the last debt ceiling deal was done. It DID get 2.2 Trillion to baseline spending cuts, 1 Trillion up front and 1.2 Trillion on the Sequester pending and the total over a period of 10 years.
The 1 Trillion was backloaded to protect the 2012 election so it was only 4 Billion in 2012. But it’s now 2013 and it is going to be another 100+ billion in cuts this year that frankly none of the analysis has included (because it lowered the baseline and most analysis is just comparing to that baseline).
GDP will feel it, though. It will be 100+B off of GDP this year. In addition to the 120B off from the payroll tax increase and another 108B off from the 2013 portion of the Sequester.
There are presently scheduled, in law, to be 2% of GDP (drag) cuts from government stimulus this year.
The upcoming Continuing Resolution debate will increase that drag. No way to know by how much and likely it will again be over 10 years and backloaded, but the Dems know that they will have to have spending cuts in the CR. This is a good approach from the House GOP. The debate will be about the CR, not the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling does not determine spending; only the CR legislation does.
I see Lucy is playing with Charlie again....
Refer to Post #4. :)
Hope they can pull it off it’s they only way to end the dems power.
These fools don’t realize that lines in the sand tend to blow away