House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.), the two Republicans tapped to attend Thursday’s bipartisan summit on deficit reduction (Vice President Joe Biden to emcee), want to know exactly where Democrats stand on the debt ceiling.
The GOP leaders sent a letter to Biden demanding a detailed request from the White House regarding the debt limit, for example: how much they want to raise it and what spending reduction measures, if any, they intend to offer in return:
For these discussions to be productive and so that we can appropriately consider the president’s request to increase the statutory debt limit, we anticipate that the president will submit a request outlining the amount requested to increase the debt limit, along with any policy proposals to reduce spending and reform the budget process. Because all proposals we consider will need to be scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, we ask that the administration’s submission is either in legislative form or sufficiently detailed for review and scoring by CBO. Such information will be necessary to have meaningful discussions regarding a legislative framework.
Members of both parties have expressed misgivings about the so-called “Biden commission,” dismissing it as a sideshow in relation to the ongoing discussions of the “Gang of Six.” However, Senate Budget Committee chairman (and “gang” member) Kent Conrad’s (D., N.D.) decision to unveil a Democratic budget early next week could signal that these talks have stalled, thus elevating the significance of the Biden-led group.