By Erik Wasson - 01/24/14 10:31 AM EST
Murray warns GOP on debt limit
Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) warned Republicans Friday not to seek concessions in exchange for raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
Murray, fresh off negotiating a two-year budget deal with her House counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said Democrats will not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.
“We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills,” she writes in a letter sent to her Senate colleagues.
The letter argues that GOP threats to refuse to increase the debt ceiling are empty because the party knows that would lead to a default on U.S. payments that would cause widespread economic damage. She also noted that the debt ceiling was suspended in October without real concessions
“We believed that Republicans knew they could not afford to force an unprecedented default, and that they would ultimately join us to prevent one with no strings attached,” she writes.
The House GOP is meeting next week in Maryland to devise an approach to the debt ceiling, which will need to be raised in February according to the Treasury Department.
House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office this week said a “clean” debt ceiling increase cannot pass the House.
Murray said in her letter that Democrats are glad to work on solutions to long-term deficit issues, which Democrats see as an approach that would include changes to entitlement programs and tax reform.