Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, said Monday he’s not convinced House Republicans will handle the issue of raising the debt ceiling properly and said the issue should be taken off the table in looming talks to reconcile the House and Senate budget blueprints.
“What we’ve said is we shouldn’t use a conference report as an opportunity to parachute in a debt-ceiling increase,” Mr. Toomey said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Neither [budget] dealt with the debt limit, and my concern is this is our only opportunity to get some kind of meaningful reform on the mandatory spending side of the ledger … and if we allow them to put in the reconciliation instructions that a budget resolution gives you, then you could pass a debt-ceiling increase with 51 votes in the Senate and never use the opportunity.”
The House budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, and the Senate version engineered by Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, are wildly different visions that will not result in a final deal without significant compromise or concessions by one or both sides.
Host Joe Scarborough asked Mr. Toomey, “But Harry Reid is going to have to deal with Republican conferees in the House. You certainly trust Paul Ryan, don’t you, to do the right thing?”
Mr. Toomey responded: “But Joe, earlier this year it was Republicans in the House that suspended the debt-ceiling concept altogether. For a period of time, they said, ‘let’s just pretend there is no debt ceiling and allow the government to just keep borrowing.’ I disagreed with that decision. So I’m not all that confident.”
So, Mr. Scarborough asked Mr. Toomey if he didn’t trust the Republicans in the House.
“I disagreed with how they handled the debt-ceiling increase last time, and I’m not convinced they’ll handle it right this time without us all being at the table,” Mr. Toomey replied.