Before they left for their August Recess, Republicans felt pretty confident about their consensus on approving an increase in the nations borrowing limit with no strings attached.
That was the past, not the present.
Now some staunch conservatives on Capitol Hill along with their outside allied groups are demanding that no legislation to raise the debt ceiling be passed without provisions that curb future government spending. These groups also want concessions and warn that if they do not get the, other White House agenda issues could lose their support.
Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said that America will come to the end of their debt limit on September 29th. The Treasury Department is employing emergency measures to delay any default on payments
The president is blaming both Democrats and Republicans for holding up approval of a new debt ceiling. Trump warned on Thursday that the effort to increase our borrowing limit is “now a mess.” In a Wednesday tweet, Trump placed blame squarely on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval,” Trump was referring to a veterans bill that Congress passed, and the president signed on Wednesday.
The GOP House Freedom Caucus and the Republican Study Committee both used their leverage to support increasing the debt ceiling as long as it was accompanied by large spending cuts and limited future spending priorities.
“The debt ceiling needs to be raised,” Republican Study Committee Chair Mark Walker, R-N.C., wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner. “But the debt ceiling increase needs to be accompanied by reforms to address the problems that cause it. We can’t afford to kick this can down the road. Otherwise, Republicans lose credibility the next time we point out (as we often do) that the national debt is a serious problem,” Walker continued.
House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed unmoved by President Trump’s tweeted threats. He told CNBC on Thursday, “I’m really not that worried about this, we have plenty of options ahead of us,” Ryan said of the debt ceiling. ”We will pass the increase before we hit the debt limit.”
Mitch McConnell echoed the same sentiment in Kentucky on Monday with Steve Mnuchin at his side, “There is zero chance – no chance – we won’t raise the debt ceiling. No chance,” McConnell said. “America’s not going to default.”
Core Republicans seem resigned to the fact that Congress will likely raise the debt ceiling without a budgetary fight.
“There was a time when the tea party got pretty exercised about the debt limit because we wanted them not to raise it or, at the very least, to use it to hold down spending,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. “What we’ve learned since is both parties enjoy spending more and more money, and there’s no chance that they’re going to not raise the debt ceiling.”
So, do you think that there is just a lot of smoke around the debt ceiling dialogue but no real fire?
Credit: McClatchy DC Bureau