Republicans Offer Little Clarity on Debt Ceiling Strategy

With the U.S. set to reach its debt limit next Friday, Republicans opposed to increasing the nation's borrowing authority with no strings attached still aren't clarifying how they intend to achieve their goal

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Amanda Whitlock / News Tribune / AP

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois speaks to the crowd at Starved Rock State Park Lodge and Convention Center in Utica, Ill.

With the U.S. set to reach its debt limit next Friday and all financing options running out sometime in February, Republicans opposed to increasing the nation’s borrowing authority without spending cuts  or other conditions still aren’t clarifying how they intend to achieve their goal.

At a press conference Thursday touting younger members at the conference’s annual retreat on the bank of the Choptank river, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), and Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)  were asked point blank if they favored a “clean” debt limit hike as Democrats support. All shook their heads no. Then David Espo of the Associated Press asked what they would like instead.

“I am so surprised that the President has abdicated leadership and has always asked Congress to be the leaders of the American people,” responded Kinzinger. “Our job is to debate issues. We can be leaders within our district and we can be leaders within the country, but the executive branch is the one that is supposed to lead.”

“One more question,” said the members’ handlers, and another on the debt ceiling was posed. Kinzinger said he wouldn’t deal with hypotheticals, but that the United States shouldn’t default on its debt. He then added it was “irresponsible” for the President to not attempt to reduce the debt. Again asked what he would do to avert the debt limit, Kinzinger responded, “That’s my answer, man.”

Stung by the implementation of the Budget Control Act, which slashed $85 billion across the board of government programs in 2013, President Obama and Senate Democrats held firm in their demands during the October government shutdown, and eventually raised the debt ceiling with few conditions attached. As a result, the GOP finds its promises to oppose a clean debt ceiling increase carrying little weight.

More senior members at the retreat haven’t provided much more clarity. Before speaking to his colleagues on debt limit strategy, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said the conference is in the “preliminary” stage of talks. Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise suggested removing the link between the debt ceiling and the risk of default through the Full Faith and Credit Act. Speaker of the House John Boehner said he would continue to talk to his members Thursday afternoon on a way forward, and that America wouldn’t default.

“I think we’d be glad to set terms, but as we saw through the shutdown, they [Democrats] were not interested in talking about anything,” said Stutzman. “It takes two to tango, and at some point they are going to have to put something forward.”

On Wednesday, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) referred TIME’s question on the debt-ceiling to the House leadership, explaining that they have the point on strategy. When asked if the public would stomach another protracted debt ceiling showdown, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) simply told TIME, “No.”

25 comments
drudown
drudown

Tell me, how much more intellectually disingenuous can it be for GOP leaders to "cry foul" over President Obama "not wanting to lower the deficit" or "reduce the debt" when TAXATION is the direct method to do so and the SAME GOP declarants took an unlawful oath to a LOBBYIST (likely funded by OPEC money) to "pledge not to raise taxes?" Moreover, the GOP incorrigibly insists the ACA should be "repealed" despite the FACT that since the ACA has been enacted, Health Care costs have SLOWED to most favorable levels in 40 years?


So, if you still think the ACA should be "repealed" have the decency to answer this:


Isn't it true that ANY reasonable approximation of the fiscal cost of “repealing” or "defunding" the
ACA- that is, approximate the ACTUAL, out-of-pocket cost including, but not
limited to (1) the rising, unsustainable costs of Health Care under the prior
format to be reinstated [i.e., with ZERO guarantees whatsoever they won’t be
HIGHER]; (2) the direct and indirect costs to date of passing the ACA and
implementation [i.e., what, do you think the People don’t absorb the ACTUAL
costs to date if the GOP gets to “repeal” or “undo” the ACA?] and (3) then add,
of course, the direct and indirect costs of "changing back to the old
laws"?


Duh.


 Aside from "undoing" the CONSUMER PROTECTIONS that the ACA creates, this would obviously be PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE, correct?

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Way to go GOTP!  Let's shut it down again.  Do it late in the month so Social Security and Railway Security checks are delayed and we can always hope that those old computers with out-dated and multi-patched programs start back up when you realize that you get nothing but a lot of grief and maybe lose those Wall Street dollars.  The GOTP cost the country 1% GDP growth in the 4th quarter of 2013 so let's do it again and then you can complain about the jobless rate.  Unfortunately, due to big cash, you probably won''t be among the unemployed.

tomzboswell
tomzboswell

what.. They pasted the Farm Bill.. loaded with pork.. reducing the budget give me a break.. they aren't capable in finding anything to reduce.. no backbone, just political hacks..

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

So what else is new?  We're still waiting on the "details" of their 2010 Jobs Bill.  Any details, really.

AvidNewsreader
AvidNewsreader

The GOP: brain damaged from beating their heads on the wall so many times. 

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

"..... were asked point blank if they favored a “clean” debt limit hike as Democrats support. All shook their heads no. Then David Espo of the Associated Press asked what they would like instead."

They then launched into a political attack on the president.

The GOP has nothing in this game except attacking President Obama.  Do we as a nation need to cut back spending?  Absolutely!  Do we as a nation need to first reduce then eliminate the deficit?  Yes!  Do we as a nation need to pay down and eliminate our national debt?  Again, a resounding yes!  Does the GOP have any plan to achieve any of this?  No.

What they bring to the table are short sighted knee-jerk reactionary crap that hurts the nation, demeans and discredits themselves, and fills the airwaves with utter mindless distortion of the facts and clever innuendos.


drudown
drudown

How, pray tell, can the GOP pay lip service to a "strict construction" of the Constitution as it REFUSES to follow it? Follow Article I, Section *'s EXPRESS LANGUAGE and RAISE REVENUE. What "debt problem"? It is an "enforcement" problem, period.

Gee, let's just "PRETEND" the 14th Amendment and 5th Amendment's DUE PROCESS clause doesn't CATEGORICALLY PRECLUDE granting foreign nationals here ILLEGALLY the SAME PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES and UNITED STATES CITIZENS. Sorry, there is no "spin" from EITHER partisan position that can SUPERSEDE the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND.

Lo and behold! Right as the most controversial- to say nothing of void ab initio on account of VIOLATING the BILL of RIGHTS- "immigration" reform begins to go through a long, no-hope-for-a-constitutional-deal process….the SAME super-PAC suckling Congress REFUSES to EVEN CONCURRENTLY RAISE REVENUE to PAY FOR ALL FORESEEABLE COSTS TO THE STATE- that is, directly and indirectly- of such unfettered amnesty. 

Away with the TPP and "Halliburton Loophole" and "illusory, blanket immunity to CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS and LOBBYISTS.  My God, how brazen can you get?  Is the DOJ "bought" too? I see some GOP leaders claim to "warm up to Bitcoins" oh really? How is that not actionable official MALPRACTICE? I AM 110% SERIOUS. Please. Somebody explain how OUR LEADERS can purport to exercise POWER against THE PEOPLE's BEST FISCAL INTERESTS? That is unlawful. Show me the legal authority to the contrary. Any member of any bar. I challenge you.Then show me the case law purporting to "enable" foreign entities or powers to exert ANY influence over the PEOPLE. What a farce. It is DANGEROUS farce these TRAITORS are playing. So, maybe you are high. The TPP is something that iS OUTSIDE OF OUR LEGAL PROCESS TO MAKE LAWS. It cannot supersede the Bill of Rights and EXISTING tree agreements and REGULATIONS.

Where is the LEGAL SUPPORT to claim otherwise. Let's see it NOW.

Sorry- this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. LAWS matter. What any particular member of Congress alleges to believe or not believe in, what any real or imagined ideology lied beneath their positions, we cannot veer away from PRECEDENT when it has served the People under the Founding Fathers' DOCTRINE OF ENUMERATED POWERS. Taken to its illogical conclusion, as the "paid for" Congress feels it has some self-perceived "discretion" to pursue, obstruct or otherwise THWART State Action that benefits the State or People as if, in the end, the LAW of Fiduciary Duty, Duty of LOYALTY and express language granting PLENARY POWER to Congress to RAISE REVENUE does not circumscribe any such actions. What a farce. 

This is most notably present in our Congress REFUSAL to categorically CONDEMN and THWART any conduct that is a THREAT to the UNITED STATES' RULE OF LAW WITHIN OUR OWN JURISDICTION. Whether that is pushing "make believe" Bitcoins - that is, in doing so, opening the door to "challenge" the UNDISPUTED plenary power of the US DOLLAR for ALL transactions within our JURISDICTION- or, worse still, purporting to "AGREE" to void ab intio CHANGES to the SUPREMACY of the State by such "make believe" powers allegedly created by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (see, e.g., http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/4/a_corporate_trojan_horse_obama_pusheshttp://www.citizen.org/TPPhttp://www.exposethetpp.org/ ). All this is AT TRHE EXPENSE of the very POWERS to the PEOPLE the BILL of RIGHTS protect.

Instead of "criticizing" President Obama for the "war wounds" that resulted from Cheney's material misrepresentations of Saddam's fictitious threat…recall, the $4 TRILLION, USELESS GOP Administration "war over fake WMDS" only to secretly "declare war" on the Bill of Rights…all this malfeasance that preceded him,  well, this just underscores you are likely a "paid for" drone trying to draw some dubious nexus between the deliberate DYSFUNCTION of the GOP (per McConnell's marching orders to "obstruct everything ) and (drumroll, please) the "government is the problem" red herring which- considering we only HAVE ONE GOVERNMENT- such a capricious and shallow "renunciation" of "investing" in SOPHISTICATED policy, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS (Russia, China, EU, Japan) and (Bueller, Bueller) protracted, robust political debate on the COST/BENEFIT of, say, the TPP- so the FISCALLY PRUDENT  course of action materializes- not some cheap Dr. Seuss parlor trick or "unplug the lights to the company building" and INJURE the Several States. 

The Several States' ability to REIGN IN corruption and SUE for specific performance of the Social Contract in the Supreme Court may be the next play. These "leaders" in D.C. act like zombies- or, as if, gee-"we're too 'in it' to do the right thing"... for the ENTIRE WORLD COMMUNITY? Really?

Is enforcing the LAWS on OFFICIAL CORRUPTION nobody's job- even the TPP, NSA spying on innocent Americans and (literally, prove the statement wrong) eventual mass genocide by "fracking" (per evidence in record via "Gas Land" documentaries) will FORESEEABLY result?

vviggers
vviggers

HO HO HO ..... Barack O'Clause is coming to town and he'll be handing out MOAR, MOAR, MOAR Unemployment bennies to all the lazy Democrats this year.

As the 2014 elections draw closer, those of you in the "GIMMIE DAT!!" crowd who plan on voting more than once can expect to find a little extra in your stocking!!

MOAR, MOAR, MOAR EBT Cards
MOAR, MOAR, MOAR Food Stamps
MOAR, MOAR, MOAR WIC Payments
MOAR, MOAR, MOAR SSI Payments
MOAR, MOAR, MOAR HUD Housing Allowances
MOAR, MOAR, MOAR Obamaphones too!

Just remember the Democrat's motto: "Vote Early and Vote Often!"

Like Barack O'Clause and the Democrats say: "We don't need no stinkin` budgets! It's way too much fun playing Santa with other people's money!"

And whatever you do, do NOT think of it as "buying votes"!!

No, No, just think of it as "compassion".....yea, that's it, "compassion".

Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho....

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☭☭.....This message brought to you by your local commies in drag, the DNC.....☭☭
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"Demo☭rats, Unions and Ignorant Minorities .... Doing to America What They Did For Detroit"

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

This message brought to you by the GOP.

RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

What else is new? Except this time their patrons on Wall Street will kick their xxxxxx lots harder; given the state of the market so far...

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

No surprise here.  The GOP is unclear about everything.  They want to tear down the entire structure of government (except, of course those things that are useful to the extremely wealthy and the military), but don't have anything to replace it with.  


Their figures don't add up; their programs are proposed so vaguely that they amount to little more than talking points; their policy positions amount to little more than a combination of recycled rants and homilies.


They have no ideas, no positions, no goals ... except to cancel the 21st century, and probably the 20th, and to return the country to the Pilgrims or somebody such.


Specifics, data, facts, reality -- all these are of no interest to them.

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

Why am I not surprised Marlin Stutzman is once again part of the group of idiots that wants to shut down the government for s second time.  In case anyone forgot how utterly stupid this guy is, here's his quote from when the President and the Democratic controlled Senate didn't cave in to the Tea Party's attempt at extortion:  

“We’re not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

yogi
yogi

“I am so surprised that the President has abdicated leadership and has always asked Congress to be the leaders of the American people,” responded Kinzinger.

Abdicated! Isn't this the same party that believes the president is a fascist-socialist-dictator?

yogi
yogi

 All shook their heads no.

Are you sure they weren't just looking at each other in hopes someone else would answer the question?

jsfox
jsfox

Is there a member of the Republican Party who is not a fiscal idiot or fraud. Congress this is your bill, not the Presidents. You authorized the spending now pay the damn bill.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Time to take the country hostage again and cost us some more jobs. Good job GOP, keep doing what you are doing, no reason for people to think you are a party of adults at this late stage in the game.

WesleyNemes
WesleyNemes

@AlphaJuliette  Yes, because their objective is not to make this country better but to install their candidate in 2016. Its an outdated system that needs to be fixed until then when democrat is a president republicans will obstruct him and when republican is in office democrats will obstruct him. First step to fix the issue would be to reverse Citizens United ruling through which only very few wealthy get representation. And they have different needs from general population.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@vviggers Nice avatar pic. And then people wonder why Americans think the GOP is full of racists.

vviggers
vviggers

@DavidStrayer ... "Specifics, data, facts, reality -- all these are of no interest to them."....And I suppose they DO mean something to the proven serial LIAR in the White House, eh Sparky?  Like most ignorant leftists, you have ZERO intellectual integrity.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@yogi The president asks the House, as the federal law says, to raise the debt limit to pay the bills that they, the U S HOUSE, incurred by their actions.  The only thing that President Obama should do is again ask to eliminate the debt ceiling.  If they want it lower the national debt, than cut Defense spending back so we are only 50% higher than in 2001's budget to start.


The current system where they pass a budget to spend money and then another bill to pay the bills resulting from their budget is pure Washington El toro poo-poo!

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@yogi  Absolutely, none of them wanted to show they are a fool  rather than be just thought to be one.

drudown
drudown

@mantisdragon91 @vviggers  


I think there is a self-evident nexus between the overtly racist memes attached to the "new" GOP's messaging. It actually coincides with the abolition of the Fairness Act under the Reagan Administration. By first eliminating an "independent" Media- the Market Players and Foreign interests that "rule" the Tea Party can now dispense "false and misleading" content on Faux News sites. Now that the "new" GOP refuses to even answer questions about their agendas foreseeably UNDERMINING a compelling State Interest, or the majority's interest, it is far easier to try to "blame" a racist meme or invite voters to "go along" with one because there is no logical basis whatsoever to "vote GOP" when the GOP is "selling out" the People and weakening the State.


Start with the following: how would "drowning the government in the bathtub" NOT harm the United States People? 


Res ipsa loquitur.