This Time, Boehner "Capitulates" Early On Debt Ceiling

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Apparently squeezed by an internal party split, The Hill reports that House Republican leaders have concluded that they cannot pass an increase in the debt ceiling without help from Democrats, abandoning plans to tie legislation either to ObamaCare or the Keystone pipeline. Having initially planned on these negotiation points, Boehner discovered he would not have enough votes to pass the bill... and folded. That left Republican leaders with no clear alternative to addressing the debt limit, which, as we noted is rapidly approaching at the end of February, as a combination of Republicans and Democrats will be needed to get a debt-limit boost through the House - leaving some Reps describing a clean debt-ceiling bill as "Capitulation."

 

Via The Hill,

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The central question will be whether Democrats hold firm on their stance that no extraneous provisions can be attached to a debt-limit boost, or whether Republicans will be able to extract any modest concessions in exchange for a borrowing boost. So far, Democrats and the White House have been publicly adamant about only accepting a "clean" increase.

 

Conservatives have said in recent days they would oppose a clean increase, but several seemed increasingly resigned to seeing a clean bill passed with Democratic help.

 

A clean debt-ceiling [bill] would not garner my vote, but if the House leadership chooses to go that route and believes that’s in the best interests of the country and they don’t need my vote to accomplish that, I’m OK with that,” Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday.

 

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Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) reiterated his opinion that the GOP should pass a clean bill and let Democrats "own it," while Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) said the party should keep searching for a proposal to attach to the measure.

 

"I don’t advocate some sort of scorched earth process, but I do advocate coming up with some common sense structural reforms or specific entitlement reforms that don’t effect program benefits immediately," Barton said.

 

"A clean debt ceiling I think is capitulation," he added, "and I didn’t get elected by the 6th district of Texas to come here to Washington and capitulate."

 

Republican leaders have spent the past several days taking the temperature of their rank-and-file, searching for a way to pass a debt-limit bill with only GOP support.

 

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But neither plan gained momentum in the last several days, leaving Republicans at an impasse.

And as we noted here, the X-Date is rapidly approaching...