Cornyn: We’re going to raise the debt ceiling; Update: House to push debt limit to … April 15?

posted at 11:01 am on January 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

As House Republicans meet for their annual retreat to plot strategy, Senate Republicans have a message for them — don’t even think about denying a debt-ceiling increase.  John Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle that Republicans will vote to raise the debt ceiling before it hits:

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.

“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board. …

“I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn said Thursday.

Cornyn also said that a government shutdown might be necessary to keep the US from becoming the next Greece:

In an opinion piece in the Chronicle last week, Cornyn wrote that shutting down parts of government may be necessary if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a deal to slash spending.

“It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain,” he wrote. “President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it immediately.”

Technically, Congress doesn’t need to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default, at least in theory.  Debt obligations (interest) and entitlement payments are authorized by statute.  As long as they can both be funded by current revenue, then the Treasury doesn’t need to borrow to meet those obligations – but that’s a big if, and revenue isn’t a consistent stream.  It rises and falls cyclically during the year, and it’s possible that revenue might come up short at some point, at which time the US might go into technical default.   Either way, it’s certain that the ratings agencies will punish the US with another downgrade for being in that position, which will make future borrowing much more expensive and create even more statutory outlays that can’t be controlled through the budget process.

Perhaps this isn’t a message to House Republicans, but one from them.  Cornyn might be fronting the message to take the heat off of John Boehner.  If so, he got some help from other members of the Senate Republican caucus:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also said that the debt ceiling must be raised. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has said the borrowing limit should not be used for leverage: “If you incur an obligation, you have a responsibility to pay for that,” she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

I suspect that the House will pass on the debt-ceiling fight to focus on the March 27th CR expiration, and that the Senate Republicans are trying to provide them some cover for that decision.

Update: Bloomberg reports that the House may pass a debt-ceiling extension that will underscore their messaging rather significantly:

A Republican aide on Capitol Hill tells me that it will also include a requirement for the Senate to pass a normal budget.


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Why not? L.i.B.

The Count on January 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Of course you are. There you go again. *sigh* Let’s just ignore the fact that there is plenty of money to avoid default. How about defunding some of those extraneous alphabet soup agencies? Let’s start right there and voila! Problem solved.

totherightofthem on January 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

If there are NO spending cuts, eventually a default is possible. None of these politicos even mention spending cuts! Cowards, all!

tomshup on January 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I’m beggining to really, really lose confidence in the Republican party. Couple of issues.

1) There is enough revenue coming into Washingtone to pay the interest on our debt and then some…so we would not default on our debt. What we would have to do is shut down some parts of government because there wouldn’t be enough money to fully fund our overstuffed government…shutting down stupid agencies and only keeping essential services running is a good thing in my mind.
2) Even if this is your plan…why in the #$@@ do you announce it to the Democrats and the President…at this point they do not need to even bother arguing with you about whether or not to raise the debt ceiling…it’s now a done deal. :(
IDIOTS, one and all. I’m ready to join a new party…this one has lost it’s way.

b4itsover on January 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt”

“I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default”

Uh, hello – how many times does this need to be said (?) NOT RAISING the debt ceiling WILL NOT lead to default.

Republicans like to use this (Cornyn’s) excuse for political cover – but, it is beyond ridiculous. Republicans are chomping at the bit to cave in to obama’s demands.

Pork-Chop on January 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

And people foolishly and willingly let themselves be deceived into believing Rs and Ds are different and not two wings of the same party. A lie constantly pushed by this website.

Dante on January 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

GOP = Irrelevance personified.

voiceofreason on January 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM

IMO, the House should take the position “We do NOTHING until the Senate produces a budget.”

The Rogue Tomato on January 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Cool, now I can write in “Lizard Man” on every ballot blank at the next election and feel good about it.

These fuds aren’t serious so I won’t be either.

Bishop on January 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Cower, Cave, Compromise. These are the three Cs of the new GOP.

madmonkphotog on January 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM

It’s actually daily that revenue (and spending) fluctuates. Given all the fiscal tricks that could be used to “smooth” out the process are being used up, prioritization could (and likely will) blow up in its first month, at least in terms of getting the payments that are desired out at the customary time.

Meanwhile, the House Big Idea is to roll everthing (debt ceiling, the second half of FY2013 non-defense discretionary spending (for roughly $250B) and FY2014 budget into one big furball with a couple-month expansion of the debt ceiling.

Steve Eggleston on January 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also said that the debt ceiling must be raised. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has said the borrowing limit should not be used for leverage: “If you incur an obligation, you have a responsibility to pay for that,” she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

We’re paying for it? Whew, I was worried we were borrowing the money.

gwelf on January 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

If anyone was harboring doubts that establishment Republicans and Democrats are colluding to bankrupt the country, I sure hope this dispels it.

What saddens me is when conservative journalists like Ed, who are supposed to know better, also buy into the fraud and keep perpertrating the hoax that one day the cojone-less GOP leaders would somehow man up and face the Democrats.

Never gonna happen.

If the GOP is in the minority, they bemoan their lack of political power. If they are in the majority, they give excuses that their power is still not enough or that “independents” would be offended.

And so slowly but surely, we head down the path of Greece.

TheRightMan on January 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I suspect that the House will pass on the debt-ceiling fight to focus on the March 27th CR expiration, and that the Senate Republicans are trying to provide them some cover for that decision.

Hey Ed, you and Guy have made some convincing arguments on this front but my biggest problem with it is that regular order doesn’t deal with the biggest area of spending problems – entitlements. Entitlements aren’t funded through the budget which deals with discretionary spending. Are you proposing that the GOP demand that any new budget be tied to entitlement reform legislation?

gwelf on January 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

And that would be John Cornyn, architect of the 2012 Senate Disaster.

Steve Eggleston on January 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I wished it worked the same way with us peasants and our lending institutions…DoOmMeD..

hillsoftx on January 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

@Bishop lol

tommy71 on January 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

So, to avoid default, we’re going to borrow money to repay borrowed money. Do I have that right?

The House should refuse to raise the debt ceiling and refuse to negotiate. Spending cuts will then be automatic.

Seems to me that the GOP is holding all the cards, not Obama.

Charlemagne on January 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Gee, sounds like I should make that extra purchase of gold and silver after all. I smell another spike in value incoming.

Meople on January 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I suspect that the House will pass on the debt-ceiling fight to focus on the March 27th CR expiration, and that the Senate Republicans are trying to provide them some cover for that decision.

Yet another example of caving now but vowing to really do something next time? Boehner and the House GOP needs to tossed out by their inability or distaste for doing what needs to be done.

What is the next big battle where they are going to vow action after they cave on the CR debate on March 27th?

Happy Nomad on January 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM

drip… drip… drip…

equanimous on January 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Meanwhile, the House Big Idea is to roll everthing (debt ceiling, the second half of FY2013 non-defense discretionary spending (for roughly $250B) and FY2014 budget into one big furball with a couple-month expansion of the debt ceiling.

Steve Eggleston on January 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

So the Congressional pu$$ies are going to cough up a furball? That sounds about right?

rsherwd65 on January 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

And it also sounds like the choice to ditch my Republican affiliation was spot on as well.

Meople on January 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM

OUR money = THEIR revenue.

kingsjester on January 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Wanna bet, Ed? That the GOP will also cave on the CR.

You seriously believe, even for one second, that Democrats would hesitate to send us over fiscal cliffs, shut down the government, send us over the debt-limit cliff, etc… if roles were reversed and that was their ideology?

The GOP is fast gaining reputation as a party that is more than willing to betray its allies and its base at the drop of a hat.

A good example is the current gun-control shenanigans from Obama and the Dems. Can you tell me which GOP leader has stood up forcefully to defend the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans and to condemn Obama’s executive overreach?

You think Democrats would have been equally silent if Bush had done even half of what Obama is doing?

TheRightMan on January 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Charlemagne: If they wanted to do the will of their constituents, yes.

Not if they don’t want to risk their reelection chances.

Judge their motivations by their actions.

Scott H on January 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Wag your rino finger in our face some more Cornyn.

Your on our list here in Texas.

You had better get your ticket home cause we are going to un-elect your go along with the commie Democrat ass.

ps
Leave Ted Cruz alone because we know your a big spending RINO David Dewhurst type. You have used that kook David Barton and his nut case voter base one time to many.

stfu and go home

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Damn it, now I owe gryphon. Hope he doesn’t demand a pound of flesh.

tommy71 on January 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

well so glad to see my senator standing with such stalwarts of the conservative movement like Collins and Murkowski

Hey fellow Texans, we can do so much better than Cornyn. He has rolled and will now perform the Kay Bailey two step. While I don’t have to claim to be a repub I do get to vote for them and Big Bad John won’t get mine anymore.

DanMan on January 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

while we are all looking for a fight, the strategy they are employing is the best. There should be a fight, and government shutdown if need be, the fight just needs to be focused on the proper subject – THE BUDGET. Force the Dem’s into budget negotiations with the threat of the shutdown.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Having seen the NRA successfully defy the administration while the Republican party failed to, I conclude this is because the NRA has not been emasculated.

I fail to see why I should support the Republicans with my time, my money, or my votes. Their principle role appears to be to put up old white men to act as tomatoes for the Democrats while enacting all their policies with different branding. See: Romneycare, “Compassionate Conservatism”.

So why are they worth my time and money?

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell2 on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Tater: What threat? If there’s a political fact lurking behind every fiscal standoff since at least the 2010 midterms, it’s that any GOP threat to shut down the government is hollow.

Why was this not threatened (and made good) in 2009? 2010? 2011? 2012? What makes this year so special?

Scott H on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Despite calls for a massive fight over the debt limit, I have yet to find a seasoned conservative in politics who thinks this is the place to make the stand.

PS. They all think there needs to be a stand, just not here.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Hahahahahaha. That is funny.

sauldalinsky on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

seasoned conservative

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

they smell like garlic…

equanimous on January 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Why was this not threatened (and made good) in 2009? 2010? 2011? 2012? What makes this year so special?

Scott H on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The GOP did make a stand last year and got the $1.2T in the sequester; past government shutdowns didn’t come with the debt-ceiling they came in the bidgeting process.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM

while we are all looking for a fight, the strategy they are employing is the best. There should be a fight, and government shutdown if need be, the fight just needs to be focused on the proper subject – THE BUDGET. Force the Dem’s into budget negotiations with the threat of the shutdown.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

The “law” that says they have to pass a budget every year has no enforcement mechanism in it. Its meaningless, and the Dims know it, which is why they haven’t passed a budget in over 4 years, and also why they won’t pass one the next 4 years either.

The Dims also know that if the Repubes DO manage to force a shut down, 100% of the blame will be laid right at the republican’s feet. Because the left stream media will lie about it and most of the voters will undoubtedly buy it. Yeah, I’ve heard this tune before.

Eff it, the Repubes need pull back from the table and let it burn. Eventually, when it does get bad enough, people will realize the mistake they made. We’re past the point of salvation for America as we know it.

Meople on January 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Tater: Was there a budget last year? No. The GOP should have let the government go into shutdown rather than have no budget.

That is, in essence, your argument now. Why was this not done last year? Or the year before that? Or the year before that? We have not had a budget for the federal government in this country for 4 years. We have had 0 shutdowns of the federal government in the past 4 years. Until you give a reason that this year is different, your argument is invalid.

Scott H on January 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Hey fellow Texans, we can do so much better than Cornyn. He has rolled and will now perform the Kay Bailey two step. While I don’t have to claim to be a repub I do get to vote for them and Big Bad John won’t get mine anymore.

DanMan on January 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM

In the very beginning, he was pretty good. But you can just see how he’s slid to the left with each passing year. I wish there was another Cruzesque candidate who could primary him in 2014. I’m wondering which way he’s going to break on amnesty, since Cruz is against it.

TxAnn56 on January 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Before True_King comes in and states it, let me say that: The GOP will retrain you. Lol.

tommy71 on January 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM

To All: I’m as frustrated as the rest, I just trying to listen to those (namely Newt), who have dealt with this in the past, who have shutdown government gotten to a balanced budget.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

That’s OK, we’ll just mint some of them there trillion dollar coins, is all.

(Slams head against desk).

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

That’s OK, we’ll just mint some of them there trillion dollar coins, is all.

(Slams head against desk).

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Bah, why stop at 3T, go all the way and mint a $17T dollar coin and be done with it, wipe out the national debt in one move if that’s what will work. /S

Meople on January 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Tater: Just realize that the GOP care more about their power than your interests. This explains all of their own actions. What they have forgotten is that their power comes from protecting your interests, and so now they have neither power nor principles.

Scott H on January 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Most would probably agree with this strategy if there was one good reason to believe the R’s will actually do it. I just hear a can bouncing down the road.

KCB on January 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

How can we best not lose.

That is a great way to run a party.

tomas on January 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

morons…every last one of them…

PatriotRider on January 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Rot in hell, Cornyn. Just lost my vote, champ. Bend over and lube your own backside, but I’ll thank you to stop inviting the Dems to f*ck the rest of us as well.

Midas on January 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Rot in hell, Cornyn. Just lost my vote, champ. Bend over and lube your own backside, but I’ll thank you to stop inviting the Dems to f*ck the rest of us as well.

Midas on January 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Don’t apply to West Point winger! LOLZ

Mr. Arrogant on January 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Despite calls for a massive fight over the debt limit, I have yet to find a seasoned conservative in politics who thinks this is the place to make the stand.

PS. They all think there needs to be a stand, just not here.

Tater Salad on January 18, 2013 at 11:31 AM

They said that about the ‘fiscal cliff’, too. And the last debt limit increase. And the continuing resolution since there was no budget before that. And before that, and before that, too.

You honestly think these ‘seasoned’ conservatives’ (oh, hell, I just threw up in my mouth a little on that one) have any intention of ‘making a stand’ any f*cking where other than on the necks of the Tea Party?

Midas on January 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Don’t care what they do with the debt limit as long as they keep my food stamps coming and my Barky phone charged up, we all good in the hood.

CorporatePiggy on January 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

How can we best not lose.

That is a great way to run a party.

tomas on January 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Losing is all they know. And it’s all they are being allowed to do.

The deck is stacked, the game is rigged. The USSA is now in the hands of Low Information Voter and the Sycophantic Left Stream Media.

I’m really beginning to see the advantages of becoming blissfully ignorant and totally unplugged from this nightmare. May have to go that route.

Meople on January 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM

In the very beginning, he was pretty good. But you can just see how he’s slid to the left with each passing year.

TxAnn56 on January 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM

In his first couple of years he was very responsive. If you wrote a letter it was responded to on subject. I once called his Houston office and he was actually there and they put me through (during the amnesty phone meltdown). Now they don’t bother answering and if you called his DC office during the fiscal talks over the holidays you got a message his box was full.

I really liked him for awhile but the taint of DC got him. Too bad to.

DanMan on January 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM

And that would be John Cornyn, architect of the 2012 Senate Disaster.

Steve Eggleston on January 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Don’t forget the crap he pulled in FL in 2008 …..
Charlie Crisp D FL

Lucano on January 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Monty Python strategy…Run Away! Run Awat!

sauldalinsky on January 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM

U.S. Politics Live

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday there should be no long-term increase in the federal debt limit until the Senate passes a budget, and House Republicans will try to force the Senate into action to cut spending.

“We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem. The principle is simple: no budget, no pay,” Boehner said in excerpts of his closing remarks to a Republican House retreat.

The Senate has not passed a formal budget resolution in nearly four years, as Congress has relied largely on stop-gap funding measures to keep government agencies and programs running.
==========================================================

12:29 PM
Twitterbrianbeutler @brianbeutler
Cantor: “Next week, we will authorize a three
==============================================

Reuters: Speaker Boehner says House will pursue budget strategies that force U.S. Senate to pass budget; Boehner adds that there should be no long-term U.S. debt limit increase before Senate passes budget
by Matthew Keys 12:29 PM
========================

Latest from House GOP retreat meetings: They are considering a debt limit increase, but only if Senate Dems pass a budget.
— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) January 18, 2013

http://live.reuters.com/event/politics

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Here comes the stupid party again. John Cornyn has just set back anything possible for the House to do about this debt limit. If the Republicans don’t insist on a budget, before they deal with this debt ceiling, it’s time for a 3rd Party. People like the honorable senator from Texas, just keep handing victory after victory to these guys and then they wonder why they don’t get re-elected.

We’ve had the House, with significant majorities, for 2 years and what have we accomplished? Nothing! One of the reasons is the Senate. The Tea Party gave them enough Republicans to deal with the Democrats so they couldn’t Rahm through anything else and what do they do? They throw the House under the bus and talk about the tea party.

They seem to think they’ll have unlimited bites at the apple but I can tell you they won’t. It’s coming Republicans, you’ll be out and there will be a party that will deal with the crushing burden of debt the Democrats are throwing at us.

bflat879 on January 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM

MeanWhile,……………………

In letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. John Cornyn questions Aaron Swartz prosecution – @washtimes

9 mins ago from http://www.washingtontimes.com by editor
=====================================================

“Was the prosecution of Mr. Swartz in any way retaliation for his exercise of his rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act?” Mr. Cornyn said in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. “If so, I recommend that you refer the matter immediately to the Inspector General.”
(More……….)

January 18, 2013, 12:18PM

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/jan/18/top-senator-scolds-holder-over-reddit-founders-sui/

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Hey, Murky, how ’bout you stop incurring so many obligations and then explain that to the dems and their dear leader. This kabuki theater never seems to run out of bad actors, does it.

Kissmygrits on January 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM

The Associated Press ‏@AP

MORE: The move on the debt limit is aimed at giving the gov’t about 3 more months of borrowing authority: http://apne.ws/Xjfudt -RAS
==================================================================

GOP official: House to vote to lift debt limit
By ANDREW TAYLOR
— Jan. 18 12:53 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican official says the GOP-controlled House will vote next week to permit the government to borrow more money to meets its obligations.

Full details aren’t settled yet, but the move is aimed at giving the government about three more months of borrowing authority beyond a deadline expected to hit as early as mid-February.

The House is hoping to force the Senate to approve a budget resolution by conditioning pay for members of Congress on passing a budget.
===========

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/gop-official-house-vote-lift-debt-limit

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

The pay part is amusing…

Illinidiva on January 18, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Statement from Majority Leader Reid embraces GOP offer for short-term extension of Debt Limit – @markknoller

6 mins ago by editor

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics

Majority Leader Reid: If House can pass “clean” debt ceiling increase, Senate “will be happy to consider it” http://bit.ly/Vype4O

canopfor on January 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM

“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board.

FOAD, you blithering idiot. Not raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with the US possibly defaulting on our debt service. Get your nose out of Barky’s butt, you useless tool.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

E V E R Y

O N E

O F

T H E M

I S

A

V I L E

P O S !

KOOLAID2 on January 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM