Democrats Intend to Keep Fights over CR, Debt Ceiling Separate
Senate Democrats think they can fend off an attempt by House Republicans to couple battles over avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year and extending the nation’s debt limit.
Republican lawmakers in the House believe that combining the two disputes into one negotiation will maximize their leverage to extract concessions to reduce the federal deficit and, possibly, slow implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Carrying out the strategy would mean passing a fiscal 2014 stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open until mid-December and increasing the debt limit just enough to force a resolution before the end of the calendar year, reported the Hill.
Senate Democrats, on the other hand, think it is in their party’s best interest to debate the issues separately, since they believe Republicans would shoulder the majority of the blame if the government shuts down or defaults on its debt.
“We think we have the high ground in both of these fights,” a Senate Democratic aide told the publication.
In fact, the Democrats’ negotiating strategy will be to stand pat and reject any substantial compromises on either of the disputes.