House conservatives will introduce a “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill that would tie any increase of the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.
House Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeUnder Trump, the disruptors return to Washington (that's a good thing) 9 GOP senators Trump must watch out for The road ahead for America’s highways MORE (R-Ariz.), Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzWhy Democrats fear a successful inaugural address from Trump Federal ethics chief resists House GOP call for private interview Ethics chief thrust into spotlight by Trump battle MORE (R-Utah), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.) met on Wednesday to discuss the measure, a source close to the talks told The Hill.
Support among Republicans for a balanced budget amendment has been growing, though it would appear to face a tough climb in the Senate. House GOP leaders in recent days appear to have warmed toward the legislation, and Jordan said leadership was aware of his group's discussions.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told The Hill on Wednesday that leadership has not ruled out introducing a GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling, should negotiations with the White House fail to produce a deal.
A leadership aide, however, told The Hill that, at this point, Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLast Congress far from ‘do-nothing’ Top aide: Obama worried about impeachment for Syria actions An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB MORE (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRyan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote Financial technology rules are set to change in the Trump era Trump allies warn: No compromise on immigration MORE (R-Va.) were focused solely on negotiations at the White House — even though those discussions seemed to hit a wall late Wednesday afternoon.
Both parties will meet again on Thursday to resume their talks.
Veteran GOP Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.) was skeptical of any group attempting to go around leadership to produce stand-alone plans while negotiations continue with the president.
“We can’t have a situation where somebody comes up with a bright idea in a backroom — it would have to be embraced by leadership,” Cole told The Hill.
“At the end of the day, little groups of members can’t impose their will on the entire conference — nobody can impose, that’s a leadership function,” Cole added.