House Republican leaders plan to bring up a measure to raise the U.S. debt-limit as soon as next week as part of a new attempt to force President Barack Obama to negotiate on the budget, according to three people with knowledge of the strategy.
The approach would merge the disputes over ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling into one fiscal fight.
“I’d like to get one agreement and be done,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told reporters today without offering details.
Republican leaders are attempting to pair their party’s priorities with a debt-limit increase, a plan they shelved last month to focus on a stopgap measure to fund the government in the new fiscal year. The goal is to have a bill ready in coming days, even without resolving the partial government shutdown, according to a Republican lawmaker and two leadership aides who asked not to be identified to discuss the strategy.
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There’s no incentive for the Republican-controlled House to take up a Senate-passed short-term measure without add-ons because many lawmakers don’t yet feel the effects of the government shutdown now in its second day, the people said.
Republicans are trying to navigate battles over reopening the government and raising the debt-limit in a way that lets them push for spending cuts and changes to Obama’s health-care law while also avoiding default sometime after Oct. 17.
The goal is to force a deal on both spending and deficit reduction at the same time, they said.
Last month, Republican leaders had planned to take up a debt-limit bill that paired spending cuts, looser regulations and a delay in the Affordable Care Act with the increase in the borrowing cap rather than leading to a government shutdown over the budget on the Oct. 1 beginning of the fiscal year.
That plan was derailed as rank-and-file members wanted to concentrate their fight on the stopgap spending measure.
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