“Hurricane Harvey is injecting even more uncertainty into a September filled with unpredictable funding fights in Congress.
GOP leaders had tentatively laid plans to pair a popular disaster relief package with a tough vote to raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open at month’s end. But their strategy is already running into headwinds, as the damage from the storm appears far too large for Congress to wait weeks to act.” MORE
“President Donald Trump’s vow Tuesday to close down the government if he doesn’t get money for the border wall mirrors private comments he has made to advisers in recent days — and could cause significant rifts within his own party if he follows through.
The fight over the wall is likely to explode in September as the administration wrangles over a new budget, an increase in the debt ceiling, the beginning of a tax reform package and a possible resuscitation of health care legislation.” MORE
By Jake Sherman
It’s almost time to reach for the kitchen sink.
All week, House Republican leaders have been stymied in crafting a debt-limit package that could pass with only Republican support.
Now, Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and other top Republicans are considering attaching a whole laundry list of provisions to the debt ceiling that do precious little to decrease the deficit but would instead serve only to attract enough Democratic support to move the legislation on to the Senate.
By Zack Ford
Despite agreeing to a budget this month, it seems Congressional Republicans are not yet done holding the economic fate of the country hostage in order to pass aspects of its agenda. In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told host Chris Wallace that it would be “irresponsible” for Republicans not to try to add amendments to a bill raising the debt ceiling, which they may need to pass as early late February. Failure to pass a debt ceiling increase would be catastrophic for the economy, forcing the country to default on its obligations:
WALLACE: So are you saying right here, “We are going to attach something to the debt ceiling”? And if so, what?
MCCONNELL: What I’m saying is we ought to attach something significant for the country to [President Obama’s] request to increase the debt ceiling. That’s been the pattern for 50 years, going back to the Eisenhower administration. I think it’s the responsible thing to do for the country. […]
We’re never going to default — the Speaker and I have made that clear. We’ve never done that. But, it’s irresponsible not to use the discussion — the request of the President to raise the debt ceiling — to try to accomplish something for the country.
By Jake Sherman
The Obama administration wants Congress to raise the debt limit in the next 16 days.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, saying the “best course of action would be for Congress to “raise the nation’s debt limit “before February 7 to ensure orderly financing of the government.” At the latest, Lew writes, Congress must lift the cap by the end of February.
“When I previously wrote to you in December, I estimated that Treasury would exhaust extraordinary measures in late February or early March,” Lew wrote to Boehner. “Based on our best and most recent information, we believe that Treasury is more likely to exhaust those measures in late February. While this forecast is subject to inherent variability, we do not foresee any reasonable scenario in which the extraordinary measures would last for an extended period of time.”
(Also on POLITICO: Even small ball too much for Congress)
There’s not a ton of time. The House is out of session this week and in session for only two-and-a-half days next week. As of right now, there doesn’t appear to be a plan to lift the debt limit. Asked last week whether Congress would have to deal with the debt limit by late February, Boehner demurred.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/jack-lew-to-john-boehner-debt-ceiling-102488.html#ixzz2rDTQyfYy