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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 CornynRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes MORE (Texas) and 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.), both members of GOP leadership, also sit on Finance, as does a former chairman of the panel, Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Grassley: McConnell doesn't control my committee 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 BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 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.