Boehner calling for debt talks lacks Republican groundswell

Working Group

Republicans so far haven’t released a blueprint for legislation or a timeline for action. Instead, they plan to vote to appoint a working group of House members and senators to resolve the budgetary disputes.

Republican Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, King, Huelskamp and McClintock voted against all three debt-limit proposals in 2011 and 2013.

They are joined by nine freshmen who voted against the measure earlier this year. Those members are Ted Yoho of Florida, Doug Collins of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Steve Stockman of Texas, Hudson, Mullin, Bridenstine and Salmon. Both Stockman and Salmon served in the House before in the mid-1990s.

Adopt Budgets

The 2013 debt-limit increase measure required both chambers of Congress to adopt budgets to avoid having their pay put in escrow.

Boehner repeatedly has said that any major legislation such as the debt-limit increase should attract a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats. He’s also insisted that any debt limit increase should be accompanied by commensurate spending cuts or “reforms.”

Among the items on Republicans’ wish lists: lighter regulations, cuts in entitlement programs and approval of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline; means-testing Medicare; reducing the changes to malpractice law and eliminating block grants for social services.

Also being considered is a proposal to eliminate a requirement that gives regulators authority to seize and dismantle financial firms if their failure could damage the stability of the U.S. financial system.

Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republicans’ 2012 vice presidential nominee, has been pressing for a plan that would solve the government spending impasse and raise the debt-limit while implementing economic growth policies and extracting deeper entitlement cuts.

Boehner has called for the Obama administration to allow Ryan, the Budget Committee chairman, and Democrat Patty Murray, his counterpart in the Senate, to negotiate over a broader fiscal package.

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