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Reconciliation for Debt Limit Double-Edged Sword for GOP

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Reconciliation instructions in budget resolutions have historically only applied to levels or changes in revenues, outlays, deficits or the debt ceiling. For example, the instructions that led to the writing of the ACA repeal bill told several committees to find $1 billion apiece over 10 years in deficit reduction.

But that format may not work for another debt limit suspension. Steve Bell, senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said reconciliation had never been used for a debt limit suspension and it would be up to the Senate Parliamentarian whether it could be.

“My gut tells me, no, you couldn’t do it,” said Bell, a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee. “That just doesn’t fit the format of reconciliation.”