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  • Washington Highlights

    Debt Ceiling Impasse Continues

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    With only two weeks before the federal debt is projected to breach its statutory limit, congressional Republicans continue struggling to find a solution to prevent a possible government default.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he hopes to raise the debt limit before he resigns from Congress.  Boehner had announced plans for the House to vote on a proposal from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) to raise the debt ceiling through March 2017 and implement other budget process reforms.

    The Terms of Credit Act (H.R. 3771), introduced by RSC Chair Bill Flores (R-Texas) Oct. 20, would require congressional authorizing committees to produce legislation to implement spending targets identified in the congressional budget.  It also would require the House to vote on a balanced budget amendment by Dec. 31, 2015.

    However, a whip count late Oct. 21 revealed there were not enough Republican votes in favor of the proposal, and GOP leaders pulled the bill.

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Oct. 15 warned Congress that the “extraordinary measures” that have been employed to preserve the nation’s borrowing capacity will be exhausted no later than Nov. 3 [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 16]. 

    Conservative Republicans are pushing for a debt ceiling bill that will pressure Democrats into cutting entitlement spending, but congressional Democrats and the president have repeatedly insisted they will not negotiate over the debt limit.