Republicans Considering "Temporary" Debt-Ceiling Increase

In what is sure to be a complete non-starter with the Obama administration, WSJ reports that Paul Ryan said that "Republicans are discussing whether to support a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing authority, possibly linking the debt ceiling to future talks aimed at reaching a major deficit deal....Mr. Ryan said no decisions have been made about how to approach the debt and spending negotiations, but that leaders hope House Republicans will reach consensus on a strategy by the end of the week. The former vice-presidential candidate said "we're discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit" increase that would lead to broader deficit talks with Senate Democrats and the White House. "We hope to achieve consensus on a plan to proceed so we can make progress on controlling spending and deficits and debt," Mr. Ryan said." The logical question immediately arose, and promptly received a non-answer "Mr. Ryan wouldn't say what he meant by a temporary debt-ceiling increase, declining to give a specific increase figure or timeframe for an extension."

Needless to say, Obama will hold out for nothing short of a full increase that lasts at least 2 years, and like in the summer of 2011, is accompanied by many promises about cutting future spending, and likely set up another "cliff" type automatic gate some time down the road which will will also have to be pushed back like the current one, which still has to have the spending side resolved. So while this is a lot of non-news, what it is is the starting position in negotiations, which now have 4 weeks to come to some conclusion before the US begins defaulting on 40% of its mandatory payments, although certainly not interst payments as explained yesterday.

For those curious how big the debt ceiling hike will have to be this time around, this too was shown yesterday: