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Democrats say ‘no games’ on debt limit increase

By Capitol Hill Blue
January 24, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan saying Republicans will, once again, put changes in Obamacare in the way of extending the nation’s debt limit, the Democrats Friday had a quick answer:  No way.

Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray said:

We will not negotiate over whether or not the United States of America should pay its bills.  “And once again, before they get any further down this damaging path, we call on our Republican colleagues to not play politics with our economic recovery.

House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans will demand concessions before agreeing to any increasing in the nation’s borrowing power.

Said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel:

The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House and Senate Democrats will work with us on a timely, fiscally responsible solution.

Among the concessions:  Expanding offshore energy production, changes in Obamacare and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Won’t work, says President Barack Obama who insists he will not negotiate on raising debt limit, saying Congress has the responsibility to ensure the nation can meet its spending obligation without political gamesmanship.

Adds Senator Murray noting the Republicans are planning a retreat in Maryland next week:

We hope that coming out of this meeting, they will agree to build on the bipartisan budget work done so far, join Democrats in passing a clean debt ceiling bill, and focus on the real long and short-term challenges facing the families and communities we serve.

However, Rep. Ryan, who worked out the budget deal that passed Congress and signed into law earlier this month, does not appear to be as willing to deal on the debt limit.

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