'Clean' debt ceiling bill unlikely to
pass House of Representatives : lawmaker
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[August 09, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.
House of Representatives is unlikely to raise the country's debt ceiling
without conditions to rein in spending, a Republican lawmaker said on
Tuesday, raising the specter of another potential clash even as
Republicans control both Congress and the White House.
The Trump administration has asked Congress to extend the federal
borrowing capacity to meet U.S. payment obligations with a "clean" bill
that does not include any other provisions.
Asked if the House would act to pass such a bill when lawmakers return
to Washington next month, U.S. Representative Tom Cole said "probably
"Most Republicans want to do something to lower the trajectory of the
debt," Cole, a member of the House Appropriations and Budget committees,
told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
Disagreements over the country's borrowing capacity have prompted
skirmishes for years. The latest tussle among Republicans follows a
fight over healthcare legislation that left the party unable to make
good on years of promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, and has also
raised concern among some investors..
The Treasury is expected to fully exhaust its remaining borrowing
capacity in October.
More fiscally conservative House Republicans see the debt ceiling issue
as tied to deficit-reduction, and want to include spending cuts or the
selling off of government assets -- something Cole, a more establishment
Republican, backed on Tuesday.
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The U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunset in Washington, U.S. May
17, 2017. REUTERS/Zach Gibson
Representative Mark Walker, who chairs the conservative Republican
Study Committee, said in a Washington Examiner Op-Ed article that a
debt ceiling agreement should also address any future crises and
recommended two conservative measures to that end.
Both measures would require the government to issue new bonds to pay
principal and interest on debt held by the public and by two Social
Security trusts. One would also allow the president to rescind
budget authority over unobligated funds and to order the sale of
"Both these measures are steps in the right direction," wrote
Walker, whose group represents the House's largest conservative
Both the House and the Senate left for summer recess until early
September despite requests from the White House to pass a debt limit
bill before the congressional break this month.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said debate over the
issue could stretch into September, when lawmakers must also pass
separate legislation to fund day-to-day government activities before
the fiscal year ends later that month.
(Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Frances Kerry and David
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