What the …?
Forget about raising the federal debt limit. House Republicans are proposing to ignore it altogether — at least until May 18.
The House plans to vote Wednesday on a measure that would leave the $16.4 trillion debt limit intact but declare that it “shall not apply” from the date the measure passes until mid-May.
This approach — novel in modern times — would let Republicans avoid a potentially disastrous fight over the debt limit without actually voting to let the Treasury borrow more money.
The House Ways and Means Committee unveiled the measure Monday; it is scheduled for a hearing in the Rules Committee on Tuesday and to hit the House floor on Wednesday. In addition to postponing a partisan fight over the debt limit, the measure seeks to force Senate Democrats to negotiate over a formal budget resolution by mandating that lawmakers’ paychecks be held in escrow starting April 15 unless Congress adopts a comprehensive framework for spending and tax policy.