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 PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (R-Ohio), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed Overnight Regulation: Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | Bill would exempt some banks from Dodd-Frank | Senators unveil driverless car bill MORE (R-Utah), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems lambaste Trump’s ‘outrageous’ EPA chemical safety pick Overnight Regulation: EPA misses smog rule deadline | Search is on for new HHS chief | ACLU sues over abortion pill restrictions | Justices weigh gerrymandering Price resignation sets off frenzy of speculation over replacement MORE (R-Wyo.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonAmeriCorps hurricane heroes deserve a reward — don’t tax it Price’s job seen at risk after Trump slams private jet use Senate passes bipartisan Medicare reform bill 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 "John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE rule" since former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE (R-Ohio) advocated for it. However, the rule was not always followed on debt-limit increases while Boehner was Speaker.