GOP lawmaker: House Republicans not likely to back clean debt ceiling hike

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that he is unlikely to support a "clean" measure to increase the nation's debt limit.

Cole, like many other House Republicans, wants to include spending cuts or other language that would reduce government spending in any measure raising the government's borrowing limit.

"Most Republicans want to do something to lower the trajectory of the debt," Cole said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I mean, a clean debt ceiling hike is like having a credit card and saying 'I've reached my limit, I'm just going to change the limit higher without changing any of my spending habits.'"

"That's a tough sell to Republicans," he added. "Democrats seem to be fine with that, but I think most of my colleagues aren't."

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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMexico's president presses Pompeo on reuniting migrant families Senators seek data on tax law's impact on charitable giving 'Our Cartoon President' takes on Mueller probe, NATO and Melania in second season MORE has called for Congress to approve a clean hike to the debt ceiling, a position somewhat reluctantly joined by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former House Republican who initially suggested it should be paired with spending cuts.

Democrats have warned that they will not accept spending cuts tied to the debt ceiling bill.

Since Democrats could filibuster a bill in the Senate, this gives the minority plenty of leverage in the upcoming fight.

Congress faces a Sept. 29 deadline for lifting the ceiling. If it does not, markets are likely to suffer and the government could shut down and risk defaulting on its debt. 

Cole said that he wants a measure raising the debt ceiling to include policies that would aim to reform government spending and debt. 

"This idea we can go on spending interminably and just simply raise the debt ceiling every time — sooner or later the credit markets are going to make that impossible to do," Cole said. "So let's reassure them and show them we're serious about lowering the deficits and eventually the long-term debt."