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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 PortmanElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms How Kavanaugh got the votes  Collins to support Kavanaugh, securing enough votes for confirmation MORE (R-Ohio), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWhy grizzly bear hunting season isn’t happening Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Dems to force health care vote weeks before Nov. midterms MORE (R-Wyo.) and Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Senate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week 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 BoehnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger Juan Williams: The GOP can't govern MORE rule" since former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger Juan Williams: The GOP can't govern MORE (R-Ohio) advocated for it. However, the rule was not always followed on debt-limit increases while Boehner was Speaker.