Report: GOP may tie debt limit to partial ACA repeal

Jan. 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, Md., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republicans are considering tying an increase in the debt limit to repeal of a provision of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.

Jordan told Roll Call repeal of an ACA feature that lessens the risk for insurance providers "certainly was an option put forward by some members" at a retreat of GOP House members in Maryland this week.

Citing a GOP House member who was present during a panel discussion of tying an increased borrowing limit to repeal of the so-called risk corridors for insurers, Roll Call said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., surprised GOP House leaders by saying she would vote for increasing the debt limit in return for repeal of the ACA provision.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said other ideas considered at the Thursday session included tying a higher borrowing limit to a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget or to advancing development of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, but he said the risk corridor repeal seemed to have the strongest chance of passage.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Wednesday congressional Republicans "have accepted" there is a Feb. 7 deadline for raising the federal borrowing limit.

"All the discussions that I've had and the things that I've read show that they understand that they need to do something by the end of February," Lew said. "And I think they also understand that there's not going to be any kind of a negotiation or a ransom paid for Congress to do what it needs to do, which is pay the bills that it's already committed to."

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