Both chambers of Congress should lay out a “framework” of future government spending, Representative Kevin McCarthy said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Capitol Gains” program airing Jan. 20.
“You can’t get out of this without passing a budget,” McCarthy of California said.
Political divisions in Congress pose limits to the ability of Republicans to achieve their long-term goals of deep cuts in spending, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told reporters at the retreat yesterday.
Attaching a requirement that the Senate pass a budget to a short-term debt-limit extension would require Senate Democrats to spell out their spending plans.
Ryan said Republicans want “a two-way discussion between Democrats and Republicans and out of that hopefully some progress being made on getting this deficit and debt under control.”
The last time the Democratic-led Senate adopted a budget was in April 2009. The Senate and House are supposed to pass budget resolutions early each year to set a spending framework, though there is no enforcement mechanism. Without a budget resolution, appropriations bills allocate money for the federal government.
Leaders said the tactic of short-term debt-limit increases was used in the 1980s during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as a prelude to broader agreements on spending cuts.
“No one is talking about default, no one wants to default,” South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney, who voted against the 2011 debt-ceiling deal, said in an interview today with Bloomberg Television. There is a “lot of support growing” among the rank and file for a short-term debt limit, he said.
The comments by Mulvaney and Ryan reflected the new political realities following President Barack Obama’s re- election that are spurring House Republicans to reassess their goals.