Boehner May Raise the Debt Ceiling to Ease New Speaker's Transition

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Sep 29, 2015 4:15 PM
Boehner May Raise the Debt Ceiling to Ease New Speaker's Transition

House Speaker John Boehner said he's not opposed to raising the debt ceiling before he makes his exit:

“We’ll have to see. There’s a number of issues we’re gonna have to try to deal with over the coming month, but I’m not going to change my decision making process in any way,” Boehner told reporters when asked about the debt limit.

One reason Boehner is open to raising the borrowing limit, he admitted, is to take an extra burden off of his successor, expected to be current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. 

“It’s just a matter of if there is a way to get some things done so I don’t burden my successor, I’m gonna get it done,”

While McCarthy may appreciate Boehner's concern, other House conservatives are not going to let him raise the debt limit that easily. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a main priority for some lawmakers after the Center for Medical Progress video investigation has come to light. It has even been the subject of two heated House committee hearings this past month. More likely than not, congressional conservatives would demand any spending increase include a provision that halts Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding.

Over in the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz already proved Monday night that conservatives like him are not afraid to challenge their leaders when they "surrender" their party's important causes for political convenience.

Since Boehner's resignation announcement, lots of jockeying has taken place for the soon-to-be open leadership positions. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's name had already been circling through the hill and the media even before Boehner's plans were made official. With McCarthy's promotion all but guaranteed, several congressmen have expressed their interest in earning his old title, including Reps. Steve Scalise (R-FL) and Tom Price (R-GA), the latter of whom has earned the endorsement of former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Several legislators urged Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to run, but his office released a statement today that suggested the representative is flattered, yet solely focused on his efforts in the Benghazi Select Committee.