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 MnuchinOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Mnuchin: Tax-filing 'postcard' to be released next week Former top Treasury official to head private equity group MORE and his Democratic predecessor, Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system 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.