Murray Warns GOP: Democrats 'Will Not Negotiate' Debt Limit

Image: Murray Warns GOP: Democrats 'Will Not Negotiate' Debt Limit

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 09:14 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray is standing firm against concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit.

The Washington Democrat planned to issue a letter Friday saying her party will not meet any demands by the GOP to tie an increase in the debt limit to other budget issues, Politico reported Friday.

"We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills," Murray writes in the letter obtained by Politico. "And once again, before they get any further down this damaging path, we call on our Republican colleagues to not play politics with our economic recovery."

The letter continues, "As we have repeatedly shown, attempts to avoid compromise by putting the full faith and credit of the United States on the line will not succeed. The only way we can get anything done in a divided government is through compromise, not threats or hostage-taking."

The two-year budget agreement Murray negotiated with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan late last year did not deal with the debt limit, which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has urged Congress to address by Feb. 7.

Ryan, for his part, suggested in a speech in San Antonio Thursday that Republicans may try to tie agreement on raising the debt limit to repealing or changing a provision in Obamacare aimed at holding down premium costs and risks to insurance companies, reports Capitol Hill Blue.

Republicans view the provision, known as the "reinsurance fund and risk corridors" section of the Affordable Care Act, as essentially a bailout fund to keep companies from raising their costs.

"There are issues with Obamacare," Ryan said in his speech, according to Capitol Hill Blue."A lot of folks don’t realize there could be some massive insurance company bailouts in the near future with Obamacare that a lot of taxpayers probably don’t know about that we don’t want to see happen. That’s one of the issues that’s in the realm of possibility."

Ryan acknowledged that there is a "good chance" the GOP will target the provision as it negotiates with the White House and Democrats in Congress over increasing the nation's borrowing authority.

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