House Republicans struggle over debt limit plan: lawmaker

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:11pm EST

A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives struggled on Friday to reach consensus on a strategy for lifting the federal debt limit but decided what they don't want - a "clean" increase and a default crisis, a senior Republican lawmaker said.

Representative Tom Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, said that House Republicans still had not settled the conditions they would attach to any increase, and were "working through" their strategy.

"There's a recognition that the debt ceiling is going to be raised, and that's critical for the financial markets and the financial system. But while we work with the president on that, what can we get that's common ground?" Cole told Reuters in an interview after a three-day House Republican retreat in Cambridge, Maryland.

The meeting ended with cancellation of a scheduled news briefing.

Congress has a month to negotiate and pass an increase in the $17 trillion debt cap. The U.S. Treasury estimates that it would exhaust all remaining borrowing capacity by the end of February, which would increase the risk debt default and rattle markets.

Cole said party members want to attach "something substantial" to the increase that can boost growth or help reduce deficits but also gain some Democratic support.

"Clearly, we don't agree with the president that we should just raise the debt ceiling and do nothing about the debt," the Oklahoma congressman said. "But we're trying to be reasonable and find something."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (6)
Speaker2 wrote:
Cut the Defense budget in half, its a no brainier.

Jan 31, 2014 3:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
From the article ‘Cole said party members want to attach “something substantial” to the increase that can boost growth or help reduce deficits but also gain some Democratic support.’

So if the GOP wants to do something substantial that well help boost growth and reduce deficits, attach to the debt limit a plan that will cut big oil subsidies, get rid of carried interest deduction, and/or tax capital gains same as ‘normal’ income. All of these would reduce the deficit and long term would make growth more stable because would address one of the biggest issues slowing our growth, the vast income inequality in this nation.

Jan 31, 2014 3:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
“big oil subsidies” – a false leftist talking point that DOES NOT exist. Maybe you should just say what you really mean, that oil companies that already pay the most in taxes (3 of top 5 payers are big oil) should pay even more, because we all know that “fair share” to leftists means as much as it takes so “I” don’t have to pay. BTW, big banks are also up in the top tax payers along with some big retail demons like Wal-mart. As for taxing capital gains, why don’t we all just shoot ourselves in the head. It would have the same effect as scaring away investment in business and even further destroying the economy.

Jan 31, 2014 4:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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