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Top conservative rails against ‘clean’ debt limit increase

Top conservative rails against ‘clean’ debt limit increase
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) caucus, is railing against the possibility of a “clean” debt ceiling increase, saying the must-pass measure “puts our nation's fiscal stability at risk.”

In a Tuesday op-ed in The Washington Examiner, Walker said any attempt to lift the debt ceiling without adding spending reforms would be “dirty politics.”

“A ‘clean’ debt limit increase puts a blessing on our unsustainable spending trajectory and continues to heap debt on the next generation,” he wrote.

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The debt ceiling caps how much money the U.S. can borrow to pay its bills and debts, even if Congress has already approved the spending. If borrowing authority and legal loopholes run out, the U.S. Treasury would default, sparking a major financial and economic crisis.

In the past, Democrats have accused Republicans of holding the nation hostage with demands that conservative policies be attached to legislation increasing the debt ceiling.

In his op-ed, Walker acknowledged that action is necessary but railed against any plan that did not include other reforms.

“Let's be clear. The debt ceiling needs to be raised. Nobody is advocating for a course of action that risks a fiscal crisis for the country. But the debt ceiling increase needs to be accompanied by reforms to address the problems that cause it,” he wrote.

The RSC has also promoted policies that would soften the blow of breaching the debt ceiling by “prioritizing” payments, an approach both Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE and his Democratic predecessor, Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: Hatch announces retirement from Senate | What you can expect from new tax code | Five ways finance laws could change in 2018 | Peter Thiel bets big on bitcoin Ex-Obama Treasury secretary: Tax cuts 'leaving us broke' Senator demands answers from DOJ on Russia bribery probe MORE, have opposed.

Mnuchin has called for a clean debt ceiling increase and told Congress that the deadline for action is Sept. 29.

Republicans will need support from Senate Democrats to pass the legislation.