The clock is ticking for lawmakers to strike a deal on the debt ceiling before the country hits its limit Nov. 3, but House conservatives say chaos in the lower chamber is no excuse to pass a bill that doesn’t include major spending reforms.
After a week-long recess, members face a hectic agenda as pressure mounts to establish a plan to take on the debt limit in addition to finding a replacement for outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner .
The Obama administration has made it clear it won’t support anything but a clean increase. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, however, say they won’t vote for any measure that doesn’t include major spending cuts.
“Rumors that the House will pass a debt ceiling increase without any reforms is deeply concerning. Voters expect us to be fiscally responsible, not to keep borrowing and spending like there’s no tomorrow,” said Rep. Jim Jordan , the group’s chairman. “The status of the speaker’s race is no excuse for Congress to write a blank check with taxpayer money to fund ‘business as usual’ in Washington.”
With the White House pushing to keep spending cuts out of the discussion, leadership faces an uphill battle in garnering enough support for legislation to pass.
At least 30 Republicans need to be willing to join with Democrats to get a clean bill to successfully make it through the House, The Hill reports.
“There’s no reason for us to engage in that kind of irresponsible brinksmanship, and it’s why Republican leaders in Congress need to accept the responsibility that they have to act without drama and delay to raise the debt limit,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote to Congress last week, moving the deadline up by two days. He warned lawmakers if they don’t increase the limit, it could have a detrimental effect on the global economy.
The House is scheduled to vote on the Default Prevention Act Wednesday, a measure that would allow the Department of Treasury to continue borrowing to pay the principal and interest due on the nation’s debt after the limit is reached for specific purposes approved by members.
If passed, it will likely be vetoed.