Debt limit strategies debated
WASHINGTON — Republicans said on Tuesday they hoped to attach deficit-reduction measures to legislation raising the debt limit, but a new government report that forecast a more favorable budget outlook had the potential to undercut their efforts.
The call by House Speaker John Boehner for deficit-reduction steps was an attempt to answer the concerns of the smaller-government Tea Party activists who populate his rank-and-file.
But a series of obstacles could thwart Boehner's plans. Democrats are promising to close ranks behind President Obama, who has insisted on a “clean” debt limit hike that allows the federal government to continue paying its obligations.
And Boehner's own Republicans are divided over which deficit-reduction measure or measures to link to the debt hike legislation.
As House Republicans met behind closed doors to hash out a strategy, financial markets showed some early signs of jitters over the debt ceiling, as investors pushed the interest rate on an $8 billion one-month Treasury bill auction to the highest level since the government shutdown in October.
The Treasury began to employ extraordinary cash management measures to ensure that it can pay its bills when a temporary extension of borrowing authority expires on Saturday.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned Congress that it must act by the end of February to raise his borrowing authority or risk a historic debt default.
“Nobody wants to default on our debt,” Boehner told reporters following his meeting with rank-and-file Republicans.
Boehner added that while Republicans advance legislation to raise the nation's borrowing authority, “We ought to do something about jobs and the economy, about the drivers of our debt.”
His comments were made as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released forecasts estimating this year's budget deficit would fall to $514 billion. While sizeable, that would be down from the wrenching deficits of $1.413 trillion in fiscal 2009 and $1.3 trillion in both 2010 and 2011, which fueled heated spending-cut debates.
CBO said that the budget deficit would fall further in fiscal 2015, to $478 billion.
Congressional aides from both parties have said that the trajectory of budget deficits could take the edge off Tea Party demands for a new round of spending cuts.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WWII pilot takes off in B-29 yet again
- New York, New Jersey order 21-day quarantine of all in contact with Ebola virus
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- Test confirms remains are missing Virginia student’s
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Missouri officials faulted by feds for ‘selective’ probe in police shooting death
- Warhol bodyguard sued over hidden artwork
- Crowd at Met protests ‘Death of Klinghoffer,’ calling opera anti-Semitic
- Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
- Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City