WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — House Republicans are discussing a short-term debt ceiling increase to buy time for broader deficit reduction negotiations with Democrats, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday.
“We’re discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March,” Ryan told reporters gathered at the pricey Kingsmill resort in Williamsburg, where the House GOP is holding its annual retreat.
“All of those things are the kinds of things we’re discussing,” said Ryan, the party’s budget chief and 2012 vice presidential candidate.A small hike in the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling would give the government more time to make payments on its responsibilities as lawmakers and the White House haggle over federal spending. A GOP leadership aide said there was no consensus on the size of a debt limit hike, and that it would have to be coupled with entitlement reforms or spending cuts.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that the nation hit its borrowing limit at the end of 2012 and will run out of ways to avoid a first-ever default sometime between mid-February and early March. $85 billion in across-the-board 2013 cuts to defense and domestic spending are set to begin taking effect in March, and the government will run out of funding a month later.
Republican leaders are briefing rank-and-file members on the “consequences” of the three major deadlines coming on the debt ceiling, the automatic spending cuts of sequestration and the expiration of government funding at the end of March.
Ryan said the party was looking to prepare members for the coming fiscal debates, both to achieve consensus on a path forward and to set reasonable expectations for a party clinging to a sliver of power in Washington.
“Our goal is to make sure our members understand all the deadlines that our coming, all the consequences of those deadlines that are coming, in order so that we can make a better-informed decision about how to move, how to proceed,” Ryan said. “What we’ve been doing is facilitating a conservation about the best way to achieve progress on controlling our deficits and our debt, controlling spending, with the goal of doing our job to help prevent a debt crisis, and getting this economy going to create jobs.”
“Out of that we hope to achieve consensus on a plan to proceed so that we can make progress on controlling spending and deficits and debt,” he added.
- Ryan: House GOP discussing short-term hike to debt ceiling (thehill.com)
- Paul Ryan Confirms GOP Thinking About A Short-Term Debt-Ceiling Hike (businessinsider.com)
- Obama: Not Playing This Debt Ceiling Game Again (txwclp.org)
- John Boehner: Congress ‘Never Going To Give Up’ Debt Ceiling Powers (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Pelosi: Of course I support giving Obama “unilateral control” to hike the debt ceiling (hotair.com)
- LOOK: 6 Things The GOP Don’t Want You To Know About The Debt Ceiling (huffingtonpost.com)
- Debt Ceiling Fiasco Cost Taxpayers Billions (huffingtonpost.com)
- The dangerous fiscal deadline isn’t Dec. 31 – it’s February 2013 (washingtonpost.com)
- The Debt Ceiling and the Art of Being Unreasonable (blogs.hbr.org)
- Republican Senator: GOP Should Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage As Leverage For Medicare Cuts (thinkprogress.org)