Top conservatives in the House said they are not supportive of a “clean” debt ceiling increase despite calls from administration officials for the bill to be void of any riders.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney — a former member of the House Freedom Caucus — and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they would like to see a clean hike happen before August recess. The House Freedom Caucus took an official position against a clean increase Wednesday, arguing policy changes need to be made to address government’s “unsustainable spending.”
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“At this point, we believe that there need to be some structural reforms in any debt ceiling vote — that doesn’t necessarily mean that there needs to be an offset necessarily,” HFC Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday, adding the group would like to see something passed by August in an attempt to prevent another crisis.
The HFC argues federal spending has gotten out of control, burdening taxpayers as a result. Meadows said changes need to be made to perpetual increases to the debt ceiling.
“There’s been some work by Dave Schweikert and Tom McClintock in terms of you know debt privatization and how we, you know, make sure that we look at our debt in the event of a lack of appropriated funds,” he continued. “And so that’s one of the things that I think we need to do — to not only take the threat of a shutdown off the table, but to do it for a long-term timeframe.”
The North Carolina Republican said he believes the changes would help alleviate shutdown threats “not just for this administration, but for administrations to come.”
The administration has warned the timeline on when the debt ceiling needs to be raised might be sooner than expected due to lower-than-anticipated tax receipts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said there have been discussions within the conference on how to best address the issue.
“The debt ceiling issue will get resolved. The timing is what I think is the newsworthy thing here. [Tax] receipts aren’t quite what people thought they were, and that’s why Secretary Mnuchin is moving the timetable up. So we’re looking at that new timetable.”