Republicans Considering a Short-Term Debt Limit Suspension: Report
House Republicans are reportedly considering one or more short-term suspensions of the debt limit — not just to defuse the threat of a potentially catastrophic default but to maximize their leverage as they try to force Democrats to engage in negotiations on spending cuts.
Roll Call’s Paul M. Krawzak reported Wednesday evening that House Republicans are “mulling” buying some more time in the debt limit clash, potentially matching up the deadline for an increase in the borrowing cap with the end of the fiscal year — a move that would more closely align the debt and spending issues House GOP lawmakers are trying to link together.
“Sources familiar with the talks described them as preliminary and subject to change after discussing with the House GOP rank and file,” Krawzak says. “But there has been support within the conference for the basic idea of tying the two deadlines together — the debt limit ‘x date’ and the end of the fiscal year —to create more pressure for a deal.”
Krawzak adds that any short-term measure would likely suspend the debt limit rather than raise it. “That would presumably make it easier for Republicans to swallow voting for it after pledging to only back a debt limit increase if paired with spending cuts,” he explains.
Where we go from here: The debt limit fight between Republicans and Democrats is only just beginning and is sure to see plenty of twists and turns as we approach the deadline later this year to avert a potentially catastrophic default.
Politico’s Adam Cancryn and Eugene Daniels report that some experts are worried that this standoff won’t be resolved without significant pain: “From the White House to Wall Street, a growing number of veterans of the 2011 debt ceiling crisis are again watching a story of bluster and brinkmanship play out — and are terrified this will be the time it ends with the country in financial ruin.”
Brendan Buck, who was an aide to Republican House Speaker John Boehner in 2011 told Politico that the challenges this year may be greater than they were back then.
And Dan Pfeiffer, who was an advisor to President Obama, told Politico that McCarthy may be less amenable to dealing that Boehner was. “Boehner may have been willing to put more of his ass on the line. He did intellectually and substantively understand why default was terrible,” Pfeiffer said. “I’m not sure that McCarthy understands that, that McCarthy cares, that McCarthy would value the full faith and credit of the United States over his own job.”