Boehner says raising debt ceiling via budget possible, but unlikely

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Senate Republicans have so far blocked the creation of a budget conference on the grounds that it would pave the way for the debt ceiling to be raised using the budget reconciliation process, which cannot be filibustered.  Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Finance: GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few no votes | Highlights from day two of markup | House votes to overturn joint-employer rule | Senate panel approves North Korean banking sanctions GOP criticism of tax bill grows, but few ready to vote against it Anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis to seek reelection in Kentucky MORE (R-Texas) went so far as to say he didn't trust House Republicans not to use the budget process. 

Using reconciliation would change the vote threshold for the debt ceiling vote from 60 votes to simple majority and give the Senate minority less negotiating leverage on any deal. 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP rep: Virginia defeat 'a referendum' on Trump administration After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Pence: Praying 'takes nothing away' from trying to figure out causes behind mass shooting MORE (R-Wis.) and Vice Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), however, have said that it could make sense to use the budget conference to do a big deficit deal and raise the debt ceiling at the same time.

John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy MORE revealed Thursday that he has assured Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Ky.) that it would be very unlikely that the debt ceiling vote would be wrapped into the budget conference process.

But he said it is slightly possible. 

“As I frankly told Senator McConnell, I’m 99.99 percent sure that that’s not likely to happen. But you never know. A needle could fall out of the haystack,” Boehner said. 

"It certainly doesn’t seem likely to me that that would ever be the case, and it would never be the case unless there was a broad agreement that would put us on a plan to balance the budget over the next 10 years,” Boehner said.

He said he realizes that some members want this off the table. 

"I don’t know what I would want to disarm myself of options that may be available," he said.