No Negotiations on the Debt Limit

Here’s Paul Ryan talking about the debt ceiling:

But House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan says that tactic isn’t viable. “Just refusing to vote for it, I don’t think that’s really a strategy,” he said, noting that a failure to raise the ceiling could result in the nation defaulting on its debts to investors.

“Will the debt ceiling be raised? Does it have to be raised? Yes,” he said at an event sponsored by economics21 and the Manhattan Institute at the National Press Club Thursday.

But Ryan suggested that Republicans can tweak some specifics of the move — how many years the increase covers, for example. And, more importantly, they can tack on requirements for deep spending cuts as a condition of passage. “I want to make sure we get substantial spending cuts and controls in exchange for raising the debt ceiling,” he said.


As I said yesterday, this is why it would be foolish for Barack Obama to get sucked into any kind of negotiation over the debt limit. Barack Obama favors raising the debt ceiling. Key House Republicans such as Paul Ryan and John Boehner also favor raising the debt ceiling. To raise the debt ceiling requires two things. First the President has to ask for an increase in the debt ceiling. He’s done that. Second, Congress needs to pass an increase in the debt ceiling. Since Boehner and Ryan both favor increasing the debt ceiling, the burden now falls to them to round up the votes. There’s nothing to negotiate with Obama about.