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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 CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (Texas) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework 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 GrassleyPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees 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 BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future 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.