Collins proposes plan to temporarily raise debt ceiling, re-open government
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has proposed a plan to temporarily re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling in exchange for repealing the Affordable Care Act’s Medical Device Tax and keeping in place the sequester cuts.
Collins’s plan would:
1. Re-open the government for 6 months at the $986 billion funding level;
2. Increase the debt limit until Jan. 31, 2014 (about 3 months);
3. Repeal or delay the Affordable Care Act’s 2.3% sales tax on medical devices and equipments for 2 years;
4. Keep sequester cuts in the budget but allow federal agencies some flexibility to decide where to cut; the Appropriations Committee will oversee and can reject the agencies’ decisions;
5. Impose income verification for those receiving tax credits via the Obamacare insurance exchanges;
6. And require the Senate and House to meet in conference to reach a longer term budget agreement by Jan. 15, 2014.
“This would represent a modest proposal that could bring this impasse to an end, allow government to re-open,” said Collins.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed appreciation for Collins’s efforts to find a consensus but said Democrats have problems with her proposal, which is “not going to go any place at this stage.”
“Two good things in it. Number one, it opens the government. Number two, extends the debt ceiling. But other than that, there’s little agreement with us,” said Reid. “They’re not doing us a favor by re-opening the government. They’re not doing us a favor by extending the debt ceiling. That’s part of our jobs…This is not a concession. This is basically doing our jobs. This is what we’re supposed to do – default is 4 days away.”
Reid insisted that Congress should re-open the government and extend the debt limit before negotiations take place on the budget and ways to reduce the national debt.
Collins called Reid’s dismissal of her plan “unfortunate”.
- Collins.Senate.gov: Sen. Collins’s statement on negotiations to reach agreement to fund government, avoid default – Oct. 12, 2013
- Collins.Senate.gov: Senators express support for Collins’s proposed compromise to end shutdown
- WhatTheFolly.com: Spotlight: Debt Limit 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Senate Republicans block “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling
- WhatTheFolly.com: List of 44 Senate Republicans who rejected the clean debt ceiling bill on Oct. 12, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Debt Ceiling: Short-term Treasury yields nearly triples due to debt limit brinksmanship
- WhatTheFolly.com: Debt Ceiling: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says government default will hurt seniors the most
- WhatTheFolly.com: Debt Ceiling: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says prioritization of payments may not be possible & won’t avert default
- WhatTheFolly.com: Boehner doubles down on government shutdown & debt ceiling
- WhatTheFolly.com: Conservative expert downplays need for debt limit increase, claims U.S. won’t “default” as long as debt interests are paid