Republicans Have Debt Limit Demands That Start With Ignoring the Debt Limit

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 25 2013 7:03 PM

Republicans Have Debt Limit Demands That Start With Ignoring the Debt Limit

Jonathan Strong gets an early gander at the debt limit increase that House Republicans want to send to the Senate. This is version 1.0, the one that contains everything Republicans could possibly ask for—also the one President Obama has said he won't negotiate on.

The Christmas-tree nature of the thing is evoked when the memo writer says this version includes "pretty much every jobs bill we have passed this year and last Congress." That's a contrite way of saying a bunch of bills that the Senate refused to take up. Also on the list: a one-year delay of Obamacare writ large, when the Republicans negotiating on the debt limit have already started to downgrade the demand to a one-year delay of the mandate.

But here's what's completely new. In 2011, Republicans demanded that any hike of the debt limit be yoked to a commensurate spending cut. This was the "Boehner rule." Remember? Well, that's all done. According to the memo, the GOP wants "not a dollar amount increase, but suspending the debt limit until the end of December 2014." The reforms and gimmes in this list are not scored to cut the debt, just intended to create "positive business effects."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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