House to vote on debt ceiling
WASHINGTON – The House plans to vote today on a Republican proposal to extend the government’s debt ceiling for 3 months, but conservatives were waging a last-minute effort to defeat the bill because it would not force spending cuts.
The proposal from Republican leaders would keep the $16.4 trillion ceiling intact but declare that it “shall not apply” until mid-May, or about 3 months after it was passed by the Senate and signed into law.
The measure doesn’t seek spending cuts that many conservatives are demanding, but it does have strings attached: House and Senate members would forgo paychecks if Congress doesn’t approve a budget by April 15. That provision is designed to force the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass a budget, something it hasn’t done in four years. Sponsors said they’ll still work to cut spending in other bills, and they stressed that they could always fall back on automatic spending cuts approved in 2011 but not yet implemented.
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