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 PortmanSenators introduce bill to change process to levy national security tariffs A single courageous senator can derail the Trump administration GOP senator warns against 'fishing expedition' for Kavanaugh documents MORE (R-Ohio), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEx-Virginia GOP Senate candidate shares offensive voicemail allegedly left by Charlottesville rally organizer Facebook cracks down on 3D guns Exclusive: Bannon blasts 'con artist' Kochs, 'lame duck' Ryan, 'diminished' Kelly MORE (R-Utah), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: Trump EPA to defend Obama smog rule | Wheeler gets warmer welcome before Senate | Animal rights groups sue Interior over pro-hunting council EPA’s Wheeler gets warmer welcome at Senate hearing Trump has no plans to endorse in Tennessee GOP governor's race: report MORE (R-Wyo.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonOvernight Defense: Questions mount over Trump's Iran tweet | House, Senate unveil compromise defense bill | Bill includes Russia sanctions waivers, limits on Turkey's access to F-35 | Endangered species measures dropped Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems This week: House GOP heads for the exit 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 BoehnerWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority Consultant to Virginia Senate candidate compared GOP establishment to 'house negro': report MORE rule" since former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority Consultant to Virginia Senate candidate compared GOP establishment to 'house negro': report MORE (R-Ohio) advocated for it. However, the rule was not always followed on debt-limit increases while Boehner was Speaker.