Senate GOP presses White House on size of debt limit increase

“Make no mistake: we do not support default by the U.S. government on its obligations and promises,” the 11 Republicans wrote.

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“Unfortunately, given the growth of America’s debt and absent changes to our entitlement programs, which are driving our debt, we will be consciously choosing a future defined by defaults on our promises embedded in the disability and retirement components of Social Security and our promises in Medicare.”

Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border Senate GOP tries to defuse Trump border crisis MORE (Texas) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneRepublicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending MORE (S.D.), both members of GOP leadership, also sit on Finance, as does a former chairman of the panel, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt MORE.

Lawmakers are currently focused on next week’s deadline for government funding, leaving some worried that the debt ceiling is so far getting short shrift.

The 2011 debt limit deal pushed the issue back past the 2012 election, and there’s no reason to believe the White House isn’t interested in taking the ceiling off the table until after next year’s midterms.

In a letter of his own on Wednesday, Lew told House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) said that the 2011 fight, which led to an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S.’s credit, caused the sort of harm to the country’s economy that shouldn’t be repeated.

"Raising the debt limit is Congress’s responsibility because Congress, and Congress alone, is empowered to set the maximum amount the government can borrow to meet its financial obligations," Lew said last week.

But House Republicans are on the verge of rolling out a vast wish list in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, including a one-year delay of the healthcare law and some Medicare and Medicaid changes.