House GOP Struggles Over Debt Ceiling Strategy

Leadership tries to find a demand it can win and that conservatives can support

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

From left: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio joined by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan takes reporters' questions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 11, 2013.

House Republicans’ strategy for the coming fight over raising the debt ceiling remained in flux Wednesday, according to congressional aides, after two demands favored by GOP leadership failed to gain traction with rank-and-file lawmakers.

Those two demands—repeal of an obscure provision in the new health care law and approval of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline—had been floated by party leadership. But after a Wednesday morning meeting between House Speaker John Boehner and his top three lieutenants—Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers—aides said nothing is on the table yet and that leadership will meet with members early next week to talk strategy.

The federal government will reach its borrowing limit on Friday, but the Treasury Department can use extraordinary accounting measures to delay the need for a debt-ceiling increase until the end of the month.

While initially there appeared to be high demand for repealing so-called “risk corridors“—a feature of the health care law that Republicans call an insurance company bailout—a new budget report projects the provision will actually earn the government billions of dollars over the next few years. The Congressional Budget Office, which released the study, did not gauge the cost of repealing the risk corridor provision, and it’s still possible that Republicans could push Democrats on the issue during the coming negotiations, but it now seems less likely.

The struggle for Boehner to settle on a strategy with the conference reflects his weak hand. There is no indication that Boehner would actually choose default over the conference’s demands, and House GOP leadership will likely blink like it did in October, when President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won a mostly “clean” debt ceiling increase.

51 comments
fitty_three
fitty_three

I favor handing out free guns and ammo on the floor of the Animal House.  Hell, the more the merrier!

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

We can't stand another penny of debt!  Please GOP block the debt ceiling.  Pleeease.  Running a country is like running a family budget.  Too much debt and no way to pay it back brings bankruptcy.  BLOCK the debt ceiling GOP!  Show those Dems and Obama who's the Boss.  Let'em hear the crack of the whip!!  

RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

Show the Dems that you are bosses and ask for 1/2 of the parking spaces in Congress - - - you may get it !!!

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

So, they don't have a plan.  But, they are going to cast about determined to find something they can use to oppose raising the debt ceiling.   

Anything.....at all.

Amazing!

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

It's a wonder that the Republicans are again in a bind as to what to do to allow us to finance the national debt.  Their previous strategy worked so well last fall, with all the publicity it got for Ted Cruz, et al., you'd think it'd be a no-brainer for them to propose to repeat it.  


Their standing in public opinion polls was solidified by their approach to raising the debt ceiling.  They were only saved from total ignominy by the distraction caused by the incalculable stupidity of HHS with the Obamacare rollout.  


But, hey, here's a chance to repeat the Republicans' performance.  They again have the opportunity to show the rest of the world who they really are and what they really stand for.


While we're on the subject, what DO they stand for?  


That's simple.  They stand for the past.


They stand for recapturing America for "Americans".  You know, turning out and getting rid of those pesky immigrants, minorities, youth, educated people, women who want to control their own reproductive functions, workers who think that they deserve a living wage, consumers who believe that they deserve safe food, medicine, toys, etc.  Those Commie socialist heretics who believe in evolution and who think that children should be taught in school about science and stuff, instead of the real, revealed, truths in the Bible.  


It just turns the blood to boil how all those subversives have taken over the country, how they think they have a right to vote, to insist on government support for seditious activities like education, medical research, transportation and health care.  


We need to return to the good old days when the population was white and docile, when women cooked, cleaned and had kids, and when everyone was happy, just like "Ozzie and Harriet".  


This country started to go to hell as soon as they started letting in the __________  (fill in your own favorite scapegoat group here, the GOP has a big tent and can accommodate many, many different minorities as scapegoats).  The solution is clearly to get rid of them.

Bacchus63
Bacchus63

Has anyone ever talked to the GOP about working with others for what is the best for our country instead of trying to figure out a way to shaft the President & his political party.  Maybe just maybe they actually might come up with a good idea that would work for both parties & the country would benefit.  This might actually happen once the tea party is gone, gone gone.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

The debt ceiling is not negotiable. Throwing a 'harmless' condition on it is just as fatal as throwing an impossible condition. That's the point.


ThomasHall
ThomasHall

Rene:

Rene--Of course, as a poorly-educated, bigoted, working class GOPeon that still blindly supports the pro-rich, anti-poor, anti-worker GOP, you hear what you want to hear. The CBO said that it was possible for older workers to VOLUNTARILY leave their jobs over the next 10 YEARS given greater flexibility afforded by the ACA and not having to work fulltime to receive healthcare coverage.

 The CBO also said that the ACA would further reduce healthcare costs (which DOUBLED under Bush-Cheney) while giving millions particularly women, children, and those with pre-existing conditions more access to healthcare as overwhelming hospital and medical bills still remain the number one cause of bankruptcy in America unheard of in Europe, Canada, and Japan.



ThomasHall
ThomasHall

The GOP cannot help themselves and try to continue their extortionist tactics. Recall that Reagan who took a National Debt that was less than $800 billion through Carter and TRIPLED it during peacetime raised teh Debt Ceiling 18 times with no fanfare from the GOP who have created most of our National Debt during just Reagam Bush I and Bush II.

The GOP only become born-again fiscal conservatives when out of the White House. Recall also that nearly all the deaths and woundings of US-Coalition soldiers since Vietnam happened under GOP administrations.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

This is nothing over what the Dimocrats will undergo when they explained to their constituents why they voted for the abominable Obama Care. Just now the CBO predicted 2.5 million full time jobs will be lost because of this monstrosity  You have to pass it to understand it, Your plan will not change period will reverberate this elections. Nice going Time


sixtymile
sixtymile


Auda says, before going home: "I must find something honorable" to show the price of doing battle was worthwhile. But there is nothing to be had, only oceans of sand and a broken clock. (Lawrence of Arabia)

Irony
Irony

@Whatanotion If you want an analogy to a family budget (which a state budget does not resemble at all), then refusing to raise the debt ceiling is like refusing to pay your credit card bills. If they don't like the debt, then the time to talk about that is when the budget is being made, not when the bill comes due.

jsfox
jsfox

@Whatanotion  Running a country is nothing like running a family budget. And since the GOP ran up the bill in the first place don't you think they should pay it?

bobcn
bobcn

@Whatanotion  

"Running a country is like running a family budget"

Actually, it's not.  Not even close.  By the way, when was the last time your family sat around the kitchen table and decided how much currency to coin?  Or how much tax to levy on your neighbors?

However, since you have a (very simplistic) interest in the country's budget -- the gopers just passed a budget less than a month ago.  What does it say about the gop if it immediately  reneges on the budget it just passed -- other than that they can't be trusted?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Whatanotion  

Dear 'winger

If the American people wanted to give you guys the authority to deal with the budget they'd given you the Senate and the Presidency. Instead you retained the house by gerrymandering districts.

Its clear that the American people don't want you guys as the boss. And can you blame the American people? You guys don't even know the difference between budgeting expenditure and paying for the bills you already ran up. In fact you keep insisting on having a fight over paying bills through holding our economy hostage then winning political power so you can decide budgets.


romano70
romano70

You are a typical conservative. A) NO, running a country is not like a family budget, that just goies to show your level of ignorance. B) the GOP is NOT the boss. Last time I checked, the President had been elected by the American people and he is a democrat and the Senate, also elected by the American people has a majority of Democrats. So NO, the Repugs are NOT the boss of nothing. Not even the House, becuase they cannot vote their way out of a paper bag C) The debt ceiling is debt that was ALREADY approved by teh same Congress you think "are boss"...geez, so much ignorance!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Whatanotion  

Been there, done that.

But, if you really want to do it again, you're welcome to try.

Have fun.........not

JimboJonesIV
JimboJonesIV

@Whatanotion How can anyone possibly still be unaware that the debt ceiling has nothing to do with new debt. It is about paying the bills that your republick'n congress ran up. It is about old debt, not new. Educate yourself before you make such ignorant comments again. Don't be such a stereotypical low information voter.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

Note to Congress and especially the Tea Party and other fellow GOP'ers - Work with your congressional co-representatives for a comprehensive budget and economic plan that will reduce spending, reduce and eliminate the deficit and reduce with a goal to eliminate the national debt instead of trying to oppose everything under the sun.

If you do that then you won't have to oppose anything. 

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@DavidStrayer  Take the word of someone who was there at the time, the "Ozzie and Harriet" world never existed except ion the minds of some screenwriters.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@Bacchus63  We just asking them to think of themselves as Americans first rather than just sleezy GOTP Politicians.

barrackobama
barrackobama

@PaulDirks So you want the Republicans to shut down the government and have our nation's credit rating lowered again.  Well, if you think that's a strategy to success, don't let me rain on your parade. The second Tuesday in November 2014 will be grim for the Party of stupid. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@ThomasHall  Cherry picking is almost fun. Start from morn till the set of sun. The CBO just said Obama Care DISINCENTIVES those who want full time work. Chew on that slowly so as to digest properly. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@ReneDemonteverde  

This is nothing over what the Dimocrats will undergo when they explained to their constituents why they voted for the abominable Obama Care. 

That theory held so well in 2012. Heck, it was the best GOP had when they tried to shut down the government (tried, they did, but boy did that backfire). 

Lets try it again tho, third time is a charm. Promise. It's success!!!

jsfox
jsfox

@ReneDemonteverde  You truly suffer from an extreme case of epistemic closure brought on by your ODS. 2.5 million jobs will not be lost because of Obamacare. Even Paul Ryan admits this is not the case. 


""I want to make sure we accurately understand what it is you are saying," Ryan said, before leading Elmendorf through a series of questions to explain the report and its findings.


Ryan and Elmendorf combined to explain that Obamacare would lead to a decrease in the number of hours worked by up to 2 percent in 2024. Most of that drop, the CBO said, would be the result of Americans choosing not to work, for various reasons, but not because employers would want to hire fewer workers on account of the law. Translate those lost hours into full-time employment and it equals up to 2.5 million jobs by 2024. But that's not the same as jobs being cut.


"Just to understand, it is not that employers are laying people off," Ryan said.


"That is right," Elmendorf said.


Or you might look at this way-


"The important thing to understand about the reduction in the labor force is that this is exactly what was supposed to happen. When you eliminate “job lock,” where people who’d like to leave their jobs can’t because if they do they won’t have health insurance, a certain number of people are going to take advantage of their newfound mobility. In some cases you might be able to construe it as a loss to the economy, say if a productive full-time worker cuts back to part time because she can. But in many cases it’s something to celebrate: an American exercising their freedom."


http://prospect.org/article/affordable-care-act-gives-workers-freedom-republicans-enraged

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@sixtymile  As Django { Franco Nero} said before shooting " When I shoot I shoot to kill. When I kill I kill for money. But because you Gringo are my friend, I will kill you for nothing. "

GorBismori
GorBismori

@AlphaJuliette  But they're already doing this, cutting everything under the sun and rolling back everything that's Obama has accomplished. And they still don't have a plan for jobs generation.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

@ARTRaveler @DavidStrayer  

I know.  I was there too.  It was a fantasy.  Unfortunately it's a fantasy that has been adopted by the Republican party as a goal in their attempt to get the country to buy into their trip down memory lane.  


If you have the time and are interested, I'd recommend a fantastic book by David Halberstam, "The Fifties".  

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@MrObvious @ReneDemonteverde  Repeat 2.5 million will lose their full time work period. Rinse. Repeat. 2.5 million people will lose full time jobs period. Due to Obama Care period.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jsfox @ReneDemonteverde  My, my my. So many words just to say what is a fact. Obama Care will cause 2.5 million people to lose incentive in looking for full time work period.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@GorBismori

That's just it Miss GorBismori, no one in Congress has a plan that they are working from.  But the guidelines for a reasonable plan that accomplishes all of the above does exist.  Take a look here;

http://www.fixthedebt.org/

This group is headed by Bowles/Simpson who have been warning our congressional representatives for years that we have A. run out of time and B. we must act to balance the budget, reduce the deficit, cut spending and reduce the national debt. 

These are all things both sides say they want but don't seem to be able to do much about.  Instead we move from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.  And, if the GOP under Boehner would change their "strategy" from opposing anything put on the table to working with their fellow representatives they would realize and attain their oft stated goals. 

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@tom.litton @ReneDemonteverde @ThomasHall  It removed the requirement that someone stay in a job that they hate because of a medical issue that wasn't insurable under the old law unless you were in a group plan.  People can now leave, slow down, create their own company, size down or relocate to another area and work at what they WANT to do and not what they must do.  

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@ReneDemonteverde

And, it's the hard working people who now make up the 47%'er's and are a part of the eroding Middle Class due to no fault of their own.  The money goes up, Miss Rene, not down and out.  Thus the issue of Wealth Inequality in this country. 

The situation is that business profits have reached stratospheric proportions while worker compensation has risen maybe 5 to 8% since 1979.  Add to the fact that the economy changed fundamentally since the Great Recession and we have a huge segment of our population that needs help. 

Think about that.  And, chew on this, after working hard and honestly all you life you could someday find yourself in such a dilemma and would no doubt welcome such help.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@tom.litton @ReneDemonteverde @ThomasHall  Hard work has been always the hallmark of success in America. It defines being an American. It was the hard working people who opened the gateway to the West, the hard working people who put up the businesses that became the giant companies today, the hard working people like Edison, Whitney,and the rest of the inventors which paved the way for this country dominance in technology. Think about it and chew on it carefully. Americans used not to shirk from responsibility and hard work. It is sad of what became of that country under the stewardship of liberals.

jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde  Rene, my friend who works because her husband needs her insurance - she will finally get to stop working.   SHE WORKED JUST FOR THE INSURANCE.


Can you grasp that?   No wonder the GOP is in a hole.   It has to try to get your vote - and any misinformation will do.  

MrObvious
MrObvious

Nope thank god I was never born a mindless ideologue.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jsfox  Here you are again. Intellectual capacity. Bet you do not even understand the word. Just to appear high brow, would you ?

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@reallife @jsfox @ReneDemonteverde  That is putting it bluntly. For this kind of people the word is has many meanings. They could spend one day arguing and discussing it.

jsfox
jsfox

ROFLMAO! You realize, no I guess you don't, this says more about your lack of intelligence and your inability to understand anything longer than a bumper sticker than my factual rebuttal to Rene.

jsfox
jsfox

ROFLMAO. You have said some might absurd things here, but this just might top the list. However it does speak volumes about your intellectual capacity, you can only understand something if it is on a bumper sticker. Just pitiful.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jsfox  Eldendorf said that Obama care will disincentivize people from working full time period. With apologies to Dear Leader. You are just trying to squirm away from what Eledendorf said period. If you do not like hard work, just say so and we can terminate this useless discussion at least I know where you stand.

sixtymile
sixtymile

@ReneDemonteverde @jsfox  That is seriously misconstrued, other previous stats find that workers reaching Medicare eligibility will work independently or START A NEW BUSINESS, which they were unable to do because they could not afford the loss of employer-subsidized coverage. This will be a net gain, not a loss to the economy. It is only a loss to employers losing their indentured servants locked into company healthcare and 'no pre-existing conditions' (the old system dies hard).

jsfox
jsfox

@ReneDemonteverde @jsfox  Thanks for proving your ODS induced epistemic closure is  impenetrable. You won't even believe a Republican when he counters what you think you know. 


You are one sad, sad small minded individual.


So I might as well make you a bit more sad.


"On page 124, the report estimates that the ACA will "boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years because the people who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and from access to the exchange subsidies are predominantly in lower-income households and thus are likely to spend a considerable fraction of their additional resources on goods and services." This, the report says, "will in turn boost demand for labor over the next few years."

"When you boost demand for labor in this kind of economy, you actually reduce the unemployment rate, because those people who are looking for work can find more work, right?" Van Hollen asked Elmendorf.


"Yes, that's right," Elmendorf said.


Elmendorf added that the factor Van Hollen had identified was something CBO thinks "spurs employment and would reduce unemployment over the next few years."

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@barrackobama @ReneDemonteverde  I was just kidding. Saw that movie Lawrence of Arabia and remembered some good quotes from it. Just remembered Django and cannot resist putting it here. Nothing to do with hate. Used to be people can say what is on their minds and that is it. Nothing implicated. Now you have to look and be careful, dark times for this country