WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – For the second time in as many weeks, the Republican Party in Congress has blinked in a standoff with the White House over fiscal matters that threaten the economy of the United States.
House Republicans are preparing a three-month extension of the national debt limit, which will be reached in a matter of weeks. Some Republicans in the House of Representatives had been pushing for the country to default rather than increase the debt limit.
House Republican leadership is instead trying to put together a two-point plan and place the onus of avoiding the debt ceiling on the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. The first part of the plan is the aforementioned temporary debt limit extension.
The second part of the GOP’s plan is to enact a bill that would suspend all pay for members of the House and Senate if either legislative body fails to pass a budget before the temporary debt limit extension is hit.
However, the second part of the plan may not pass Constitutional muster, based on the 27th Amendment. That amendment states in part, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”
House Republicans said the plan would be Constitutional because the pay would remain the same, but be withheld. Legal experts have disagreed in multiple reports on the matter; however, the Supreme Court has never weighed in on the amendment.
GOP Representative Darrell Issa of California initially said the plan was “unconstitutional.” Representative Issa quickly changed his tune saying he fully supported the plan within hours of making his initial comment.
Democrats in the House and Senate weighed in on the matter saying it was a political stunt. Democrats also said without a long-term debt limit increase, markets could be shaken by the political gridlock between the House and Senate.
Democrats have also called on the Republicans in the House to pass a clean bill raising the debt limit without any strings attached.