Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Republican Leaders Eye Debt Limit as Obamacare Leverage

House Republican leaders are considering using the fall debt ceiling fight as leverage to push for a delay in Obamacare, but they haven’t yet decided whether to pursue that strategy, a leadership aide told CQ Roll Call.

“Obamacare is one of many things we can pursue on debt limit, potentially the individual mandate delay and codifying the business delay, and perhaps other aspects,” a GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call on Thursday. “This is all in the discussion phase right now.”

The possible twist comes as leadership faces an insurgent effort to threaten a government shutdown over Obamacare from the rank and file and fueled by outside groups. Reuters reported leaders were considering the idea earlier Thursday.

Later on Thursday, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is expected to circulate a letter addressed to party leaders calling for the inclusion of language defunding Obamacare in any must-pass spending bill at the end of next month.

The text of the letter isn’t likely to yield much of a surprise, but its release will reveal how many House GOP lawmakers co-signed the correspondence after Heritage Action for America unfurled an ad campaign against 100 members who were still holding out as of earlier this week.

The GOP Conference is largely divided on whether threatening a government shutdown is politically advisable given that the Senate and the White House would certainly snub any serious effort to unravel the Democrats’ signature health care legislation.

It’s also highly unlikely Democrats would be amenable to discussing dismantling Obamacare in connection with raising the debt ceiling later this fall when the government is set to default, as the Obama administration has said repeatedly that it will not negotiate on the full faith and credit of the United States.

A failure to raise the debt ceiling would also provoke a partial government shutdown, as the government would be unable to pay all of its bills. Obama warned in 2011 that Social Security and other checks could be delayed.

House Republican leaders will hold a conference call this evening with conference members where this will surely be a topic of conversation.

  • notyranny47

    For gosh sakes, QUIT RAISING THE DEBT LIMIT!! We need to CUT spending, not increase it. They need to stand their ground for once, defund Obamacare and don’t promise any goodies to Obama. WTP are fed up.

    • Jack

      You do understand that raising the debt limit is for bills already incurred?

      So unless u raise the limit, u can’t pay the bills.

      Simple concept.

      • notyranny47

        Yes, I understand that. The idea is to stop incurring “bills” of $1,000,000,000,000,000 a year (which we have to borrow and/or the Fed just prints money out of thin air = inflation).
        Simple concept here too — if you’re in a deep hole, the first thing you do is quit digging.

        • gerrymander

          Remind me who incurred multiple Billions of $$ for a war in Iraq AND cut taxes which didn’t generate an economic recovery.

          • notyranny47

            Remind me who quadrupled down with multiple TRILLIONS of dollars added to the debt? That’s a pesky fact, but it’s fact nonetheless.

        • Jack

          You’re correct about the stop digging part. But considering you’ve ALREADY spend the money…. U gotta pay the bills. Otherwise it’s default. Simple concept really…no?

          Tbaggers are a stupid bunch. All emotion devoid of logic…. Like my puppy at my feat.

  • notyranny47

    BTW, the GOP isn’t the one responsible for the govt “shutdown”, which won’t be a shutdown anyway! All govt services will be funded – ALL, except Obamacare. So start changing the narrative and quit acting like cowering children. Put it like it is: no funding for Obamacare, rather than a delay…he can take it or leave it and if he leaves it, HE will be the one to “shut down” the govt. For way too long, the GOP has let the left couch the issues with their disinformation. It’s time to stop and start telling the American people the TRUTH (and it’s not anything BHO says — he’s not been caught in the truth once in 5 years and wont be over the rest of his usurped “presidency”). Wake up America!!!

    • Jesse4

      Your problem with that idea is that no one but right-wing simpletons will blame Obama. Most people will understand who’s at fault even if you lie about it.

      • notyranny47

        Tell me one time Hussein Obama has told the truth. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” – LIE. “This will reduce your premiums by $2400 a year” – LIE. “NO taxpayer money will be used to fund abortion (even signed his name to that one) – LIE. There’s one thing you can be sure of — if his lips are moving, he’s lying. Oh, and there’s this one, “if unemployment isn’t down at the end of my term, I’ll be a 1-termer” – LIE. “We’re gonna use that stimulus money to put America back to work” – LIE, LIE, LIE.
        And by the way, no one in the Republican party has called for a shutdown. It’s Hussein that would shut the govt down (which is essentially meaningless, as all essential services would remain intact) if he didn’t get his way on Obamacare. NOT the Republicans

        • Wuthie

          I’ll tell you one time Obama told the truth.

          He said we would have the AHC under his administration.

    • Jack

      You’re funny. Obamacare WILL be funded regardless of a shutdown .

      Are you really that misinformed?

      • notyranny47

        Perhaps you haven’t heard…spending must be appropriated by Congress. Now, with the Republican wimps currently in Congress, they scatter everytime Hussein says “boo”, but make no mistake about it. They COULD defund it.

  • Wuthie

    the single cell amoeba is smarter than Republicans. You’d think after 40 times of trying to repeal it they’d get the hint. It won’t happen, move on, there are more important matters you need to deal with. Everyone says health care needs to be fixed, but those insane Republicans only have one thing on their mind. Get rid of the Affordable Health Care law. If you don’t like it change it. There aren’t too many people think it is that good. BUT it’s better than anything the Republicans have come up with. Give your brain a workout, make it better.

    • notyranny47

      No, the Republicans came up with plenty of good ideas — they just were discarded by the Democrats. Take a look at Tom Cole’s proposals — just simple free-market measures which would accomplish far more than Obamacare does, with no added cost. You dont seem to understand: this monstrosity has nothing to do with how much the Dems/Communists “care about” the poor people — its about control. I have an idea that once it’s instituted and in full force, you won’t be singing it’s praises. Look up the “Complete Lives System” by Ezekiel Emanuel, which was the basis for spreading the “resources” for Obamacare. From 50 on, you’ll see how little is allocated for those who have worked all their lives and paid into this system, only to have the “gatekeepers” of BOTH parties squander our money. Do some research, rather than spout propaganda.

      • Wuthie

        Dems/Communtist??? Join the real world. The Republicans came up with some Ideas. They WERE NOT good ideas. They didn’t solve the problem. The best I heard was with Bennett and Wyden. That was a bipartisan bill and that didn’t help lowering insurance rates.

        I guess singing praises is saying that most people don’t think it is that good???

        I guess you think it’s better to pay for other peoples health care by higher taxes and increased insurance rates. I’d prefer they pay for their own healthcare and if government has to mandate this so be it.

        You do some research instead of listening to right wing propaganda.

        • notyranny47

          Do you HONESTLY think you arent going to be “paying for other people’s healthcare by higher taxes and increased rates”? Do you understand what socialized medicine is? Check out every country that has it — thats what’s waiting for us. It boggles the mind that you believe naively that we’ll get better care, cheaper. Did you check out the Complete Lives System – is that how you want to be treated when you’re a senior? The Democrat/Communist party is the party of death, they have no respect for life and that will include yours.

          • Wuthie

            There is a BIG difference between the Affordable Health Care law and socialized medicine.

            Why don’t you check out every country that has it and you might notice that every country that does have it has lower health care than the U.S.

            What does Complete Lives System have to do with AHC? Nothing that’s what. Dr. Emanuel is an adviser not a law maker. Obama has lots of advisers and Obama doesn’t make the laws congress does. I’m not worried.

            The Complete Lives System is closer to what the Republicans want than what the Democrats want. Paul Ryan is all for the voucher system, even in Medicare.

            The Republican party, the party of lies and mis-information. Remember the Death Panel that Republcians said was in AHC? It wasn’t and still you believe the Democrats are the party of death.

            I would say the Republicans have no respect for life. They are the ones trying to repeal AHC, Medicare, and Social Security.

          • Jesse4

            All of the countries that have socialized medicine pay a lot less than Americans do. Better come up with another whining point.

          • notyranny47

            Talk to some of them. They’ll tell you the care stinks, what there is of it.

  • gerrymander

    Now the Leadership is in on the game? Is the GOP insanity infectious, or are they acknowledging how weak their authority is over the rank-and-file?

  • wildrover4

    Of all the irresponsible, dangerous and damaging ideas, this takes the cake. Attaching a non-gettable ask to the debt ceiling raise is the surest way to disaster. Setting the expectation that anything other than a default is a realistic outcome is disqualifying in terms of leadership and governance. Start hording your cash now because this is going to end very badly.

  • Willard D Russell

    Maybe the Dems will someday realize something about the GOP.
    You CAN NOT negotiate with a rabid dog.
    Even if they capitulate on the ACA, the GOP will continue to threaten to shut down the government over corporate taxes, food stamps, or something else.
    Go ahead republicans shut down the government, just stand up and take responsibility for it.

  • George Ramos

    In fact, today’s notions of democratic socialism in Europe are mostly the result of French conceptions of human social relations introduced by Saint-Simon over ten generations ago.

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