'Clean' Vote on Borrowing Limit
House Republicans may hold a "clean" debt-ceiling vote this fall to prove to President Obama that it lacks the support to pass Congress.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) played that card in 2011 before the parties negotiated the Budget Control Act. At that time, the House voted overwhelmingly to oppose a clean debt-limit increase. The final tally was 318-97, as 82 Democrats joined every Republican in rejecting the bill. Seven Democrats voted "present."
"I see no reason not to do it that way" if Boehner feels that it would strengthen his negotiating position, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said in an interview with The Hill.
The former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman noted, however, that he did not know whether decisions have been made on a debt-limit strategy: "We had a conference on this early...and we've not heard anything since the conference and there were a lot of ideas put on the table."
Fellow GOP Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AK) said it "wouldn't surprise" him if Boehner opted to hold an up-or-down vote on a clean debt-ceiling increase, cautioning that House Republicans "haven't had those conversations yet."
When asked in late July whether the House GOP would hold a vote on the debt limit increase, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told his Democrat counterpart, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), that it would not happen in September. Cantor did not reveal any more in that back and forth on the House floor.
In recent years, Republicans have pressed for spending cuts and reforms in exchange for a hike to the debt limit.
Obama has called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling without conditions to cut spending, repeatedly stressing he will not negotiate on the issue like he did in 2011.
"The president, having negotiated the last time, can't say, 'Well, I'm never doing it again," Cole said.
But Republicans don't appear to have a detailed plan on the budgetary battles facing them when they return from their five-week August recess. For example, they haven't coalesced on what exactly to ask for in the debt-limit debate, which will likely heat up in October.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 08/20/2013
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