GOP to Call Obama's Bluff on Debt Limit

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 11:30 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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House Republicans plan to call President Barack Obama's bluff not to negotiate a debt-ceiling increase. They will demand a number of spending cuts originally crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan in this year's budget proposal.

According to the National Journal, these mandatory spending cuts — in exchange for allowing the federal government to borrow more — are likely to include the Wisconsin Republican's plan to trim Obamacare and the ballooning food-stamp program and end certain agriculture subsidies.

The GOP plans to tie the size of the cuts to which Obama agrees to the length of time Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling. For a long-term deal through the rest of Obama's term, Republicans would expect a significant concession from the president, such as the privatization of Medicare.

"If the president wants to go big, there's a big idea," said Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

The showdown over the nation's more than $16 billion debt is not expected until this fall. But the president already is warning that he will not negotiate with Republicans and that he will insist on more government spending without cuts attached, the National Journal reported.

"Past experience being what it is, we're preparing for a president that does not want a big deal," Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall told the Journal. "Maybe he wants a medium-sized deal; there are some options there. Maybe he wants a really small deal — he just wants to push the ceiling back until the end of the year.

"Whatever the issue," Woodall said, "we're not talking at all about how to obstruct those negotiations. We're talking about how to be a part of those negotiations."


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