No negotiations with Republicans on U.S. debt limit: senior Democrat

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:03am EST

Senate Budget Committee chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) (R) and House Budget Committee chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) hold a news conference to introduce The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Senate Budget Committee chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) (R) and House Budget Committee chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) hold a news conference to introduce The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, December 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats in Congress will not negotiate with Republicans demanding concessions in exchange for raising the U.S. debt ceiling, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee said on Friday.

"We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills," Senator Patty Murray said in a letter to colleagues. "And once again, before they get any further down this damaging path, we call on our Republican colleagues to not play politics with our economic recovery."

The United States is expected to reach the debt ceiling in late February and debt-limit fights have proven costly in the past, helping cost the United States its top-tier credit rating from Standard and Poor's in 2011.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said his fellow Republicans will not pass a debt increase without some concessions from Democrats.

"The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a 'clean' debt limit increase simply won't pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House and Senate Democrats will work with us on a timely, fiscally responsible solution," Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, said in a statement.

Some of the demands Republicans are considering include expanding offshore energy production, small changes in President Barack Obama's healthcare law and approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Obama has vowed not to negotiate over raising the debt limit, arguing that it is Congress' responsibility to ensure that its spending obligations can be paid.

House Republicans likely will formulate their conditions for an increase in U.S. borrowing authority next week at a retreat in Maryland.

"We hope that coming out of this meeting, they will agree to build on the bipartisan budget work done so far, join Democrats in passing a clean debt ceiling bill, and focus on the real long and short-term challenges facing the families and communities we serve," Murray said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Stephen Powell)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (25)
4825 wrote:
“We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills,” Senator Patty Murray said in a letter to colleagues. ”

Typical liberal head butting in an attempt to politicize everything. The lack of bipartisanship from the liberal Democrats is embarrassing for the country. Every congressman and senator that is unwilling to come to the table in a good faith effort to work out an agreement should be voted out of office and replaced. The comment about “not negotiating over whether America should pay it’s bills” is bogus at best and just a smoke screen for the liberals to keep spending, spending and spending some more. It is like you driving up the credit on the credit card to the maximum and claiming you have to increase the limit on the card because you have it maxed out, never looking to cut your spending habits. It is utter BS and if we leave the tax and spend democrats in office long enough the country will fail.

Jan 24, 2014 11:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
So who is the party of “NO!” again? Oh, same as always, the cry baby democrats that have repeatedly held the nation hostage to get their destructive and failed policies passed as a way to subjegate the citizensa nd retain their corrupt positions of power. Democrats, destroying the countrry since…..well, always.

Jan 24, 2014 11:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:
Every piece of legislation is political at this point and refusal to negotiate won’t yield any positive result for either party. Democrats cling to the belief they can make the other party look worse if the US can’t pay its bills and the Republicans want to stop or curtail any spending increases. Both parties play politics with the debt limit and this is nothing new. It is extremely hypocritical when Obama says they shouldn’t play politics with the debt limit, considering he did just that as a senator.

Jan 24, 2014 11:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.