Ryan rejects Trump idea to scrap debt limit

Ryan rejects Trump idea to scrap debt limit
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday pushed back on President Trump’s idea of scrapping all future votes on the debt ceiling, arguing that Congress still controls the power of the purse.

“I won’t get into a private conversation that we had,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference. “But I think there is a legitimate role for the power of the purse and Article 1 powers, and that’s something we need to defend here in Congress.”

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At a White House meeting on Wednesday with the four top congressional leaders, Trump surprised GOP leaders by siding with Democrats in agreeing to fund the government and hike the debt limit for three months.

The president also lamented during the Oval Office meeting that such votes to raise the nation’s borrowing limit were unproductive and that perhaps Congress should eliminate the need for future votes, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), one of the attendees.

Pelosi told reporters earlier Thursday that she'd back the elimination of the debt-ceiling vote — but first wants to run the idea by her rank-and-file members.

"Why don’t we just do away with it? Now that’s something we can talk about," she told reporters in the Capitol Thursday.

"Why don’t we just do away with Congress voting to lift the debt ceiling? The Constitution says that the full faith and credit of the United States of America should not be questioned, it’s not in doubt. … The president even suggested, ‘Has anybody ever thought about eliminating this vote?' And we said we’ll take it back to our caucus.

Mike Lillis contributed.