Pelosi says proposal to take debt ceiling authority away from Congress ‘has merit’ – The Hill

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care — Presented by The National Council on Mental Wellbeing — Merck asks FDA to authorize five-day COVID-19 treatment On The Money — Democrats set up chaotic end-of-year stretch One-quarter of critical infrastructure at risk of failure from flooding: research MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday she thinks a bill that would transfer the authority to raise the debt limit from Congress to the Treasury secretary “has merit.”

Pelosi’s support for shifting the near-annual responsibility of ensuring the U.S. doesn’t default on its debts comes as a growing number of Democrats in recent weeks have endorsed abolishing the debt limit in its current form. 

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthOn The Money — Democrats set up chaotic end-of-year stretch The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – Political crosscurrents persist for Biden, Dems Growing number of Democrats endorse abolishing debt limit altogether MORE (D-Ky.) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) introduced a bill late last month that would vest the responsibility of raising the debt limit with the Treasury secretary.

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“I think it has merit,” Pelosi said of the proposal at a press conference in the Capitol.

The House is scheduled to vote later Tuesday to clear a short-term extension of the debt limit into early December, less than a week before the Oct. 18 deadline in which the Treasury Department estimated the U.S. could start defaulting on its obligations.

The calls for reforming the debt limit came in response to Republicans’ insistence in recent weeks that they would not vote to raise the debt limit because they want Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process, which is exempt from a Senate filibuster but is more time-consuming and requires specifying a number to raise the debt limit to, rather than suspending it for a period of time. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats are ignoring the only thing that matters The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by The National Columbus Education Foundation – Positive developments on COVID-19 treatments The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – Political crosscurrents persist for Biden, Dems MORE (R-Ky.) ultimately agreed to supply enough GOP votes to advance a short-term measure to raise the debt limit, arguing it would provide enough time for Democrats to use reconciliation in the coming weeks for a long-term measure and vowing that Republicans wouldn’t vote for another extension

Pelosi said late last month that she thinks the Boyle-Yarmuth proposal is an “excellent idea.”

But for now, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are focused on ensuring that legislation to prevent a debt default next week reaches President BidenJoe BidenGruden out as Raiders coach after further emails reveal homophobic, sexist comments Abbott bans vaccine mandates from any ‘entity in Texas’ Jill Biden to campaign with McAuliffe on Friday MORE‘s desk.

“In the meantime, we’re going to pass a bill today to take us to December,” Pelosi said.

Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOn The Money — Democrats set up chaotic end-of-year stretch The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – Political crosscurrents persist for Biden, Dems Yellen confident of minimum global corporate tax passage in Congress MORE last month endorsed the idea of abolishing the debt limit in its current form. 

The White House has not yet indicated if Biden supports similar reforms to the debt limit.

“Right now, our focus is on raising the debt ceiling and the limited amount of time we have left to do that,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBannon’s subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ The Memo: Biden’s horizon is clouded by doubt Biden administration competency doubts increase MORE said last week. “There’s plenty of time to have a conversation after that.”

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