Out Of Options, House GOP Settles On “Clean” Debt Limit Hike

Source: Rebecca Kaplan / CBS News

House Republican leaders have abandoned plans to seek spending cuts or specific policies in exchange for increasing the debt limit after it became clear there was insufficient support for the strategy among the conference, a source told CBS News.

Instead, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, will rely on mostly Democratic votes to pass a measure that merely extends the U.S. borrowing authority, but nothing else. A handful of Republicans will have to vote in favor of the bill as well to ensure it has enough support to reach a majority. A vote is expected on Wednesday.

The move represents a major concession by GOP leaders, since both Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had indicated a debt limit bill would not have enough support to pass. But at the end of the day, not enough Republicans seemed willing to dive headfirst into another crisis that could end in the kind of backlash that occurred after the shutdown of the federal government last October.

If the House passes the so-called “clean” debt bill this week, it will move to the Senate. Since Democrats have the majority in that chamber, they will not need any Republicans to approve an increase in the debt ceiling unless some of the more conservative members mount a filibuster.

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