GOP senators offer bill to require spending cuts with debt-limit hikes

GOP senators offer bill to require spending cuts with debt-limit hikes
© Greg Nash

A group of GOP senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would require debt-limit increases to be offset by spending cuts.

The bill — from Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWATCH: Sen. Flake: “More doubtful” North Korean summit will happen  Lobbying world Trump-backed congressman wins Ohio Senate primary MORE (R-Ohio), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate panel advances Trump's CIA nominee Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief This week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill MORE (R-Utah), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWatchdog to probe EPA email preservation Overnight Energy: EPA moves to roll back chemical plant safety rule | NASA chief says humans contribute to climate change | Pruitt gets outside lawyer House lawmakers to unveil water resources bill on Friday MORE (R-Wyo.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Not only do we need to support veterans, but their caregivers, too MORE (R-Ga.) — comes one week after the debt limit was reinstated.

“If we’re going to raise the debt limit, we should also rein in spending and address our massive debt. That’s just common sense,” Portman said in a statement. 

“Our current spending and debt levels are unsustainable. They threaten to drive up tax rates, reduce economic growth, and leave an increasingly heavy burden on future generations of Americans." 

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Congress will likely need to raise the debt ceiling by the fall in order to avoid a default, but there could be challenges to doing so. Some Republicans are adamant that an increase be paired with spending cuts, while Democrats have said they want a "clean" debt-limit hike with no additional measures attached.

Under the Senate Republicans' bill, legislation to raise the debt limit would also need to include dollar-for-dollar spending cuts. The spending reductions could take place over a 10-year period and would not be allowed to include timing shifts and expiring spending for emergency purposes.

The bill would also require presidential requests to increase the debt limit to include proposals to reduce spending.

The notion of tying debt-limit hikes to dollar-for-dollar spending cuts is often called the "BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Can Jim Jordan become top House Republican? Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE rule" since former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Can Jim Jordan become top House Republican? Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE (R-Ohio) advocated for it. However, the rule was not always followed on debt-limit increases while Boehner was Speaker.