OPIOID SERIES:

Senate GOP to Geithner: Default would be your fault

ADVERTISEMENT
To buttress their argument, Republicans point to figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as proof the government can cover its debt service payments without borrowing. The CBO states that the government took in $2.23 trillion in tax revenue in fiscal 2011, while only making net interest payments on debt of $213 billion.

They also say a Congressional Research Service report proves that the government need not default on debt payments after hitting the debt limit. Presented to members of Congress earlier this month, it explained that the Treasury has the ability to prioritize spending, and could make sure money went to those debt service payments. CNBC originally reported on the contents of the presentation Wednesday.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is pushing legislation he says will require the administration to prioritize those payments, which he says removes the threat of a default from the debt-limit debate.

However, Geithner has been unflinching in saying Congress has no choice but to ultimately raise the debt limit. In response to Toomey's bill, Geithner argued that while the government could make payments on its public debt after hitting the debt limit, the world would still see the United States was failing to meet other obligations, which would still be interpreted as a default.

DeMint was joined on the letter by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: Staff changes upend White House cyber team | Trump sends cyber war strategy to Congress | CIA pick to get hearing in May | Malware hits Facebook accounts Senators express concerns over Haspel's 'destruction of evidence' Overnight Cybersecurity: US, UK blame Russia for global cyberattacks | Top cyber official leaving White House | Zuckerberg to meet EU digital chief MORE (N.C.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE (Okla.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranChamber of Commerce makes play in Mississippi Senate race for Hyde-Smith Shelby approved as Appropriations panel chairman Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator MORE (Miss.), Jim DeMint (S.C.) , Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate Finance leaders call on Commerce to improve the tariff-exclusion process GOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor House passes series of bills to improve IRS MORE (Utah), Mike JohannsMichael (Mike) Owen JohannsMeet the Democratic sleeper candidate gunning for Senate in Nebraska Farmers, tax incentives can ease the pain of a smaller farm bill Lobbying World MORE (Neb.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Congress needs ‘to move on’ from Russia probe GOP senator: ‘Way too early’ to talk about supporting Trump in 2020 IG report faults fired FBI official McCabe for leak to media MORE (Wis.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases Senate approves Trump’s pick for No. 2 at EPA MORE (Oklah.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA Key senators warn Trump of North Korea effort on Syria Rep. Jordan: Action in Syria ‘should be debated in Congress’ MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (Ky.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTax rules will be subject to more OMB review under new memo Ending sex trafficking tomorrow requires preventing child abuse today Doctors bristle at push for opioid prescription limits MORE (Ohio), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischChanging the rules won't fix congressional dysfunction Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump Overnight Health Care: FDA takes first step to cut nicotine levels in cigarettes | Trump's health chief backs official at center of abortion fight | Trump opioid plan will reportedly include death penalty for some drug dealers MORE (Idaho), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHouse, Senate GOP compete for cash Overnight Tech: Alleged robocall kingpin testifies before Congress | What lawmakers learned | Push for new robocall rules | Facebook changes privacy settings ahead of new data law | Time Warner CEO defends AT&T merger at trial Senators grill alleged robocall kingpin MORE (S.D.), Toomey, David VitterDavid Bruce VitterPlanned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? MORE (La.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerLet's hold Facebook to the same standards as other players in the industry Cindy Hyde-Smith sworn in as Mississippi's latest senator Miss. Dem touts campaign poll saying he leads GOP candidates in Senate race MORE (Miss.).

This post updated at 1:02 pm.