Two Republican Senators began to signal today that they will attempt to frame negotiations around an increase in the debt ceiling, potentially creating a situation early next year that would mirror the crisis of the summer of 2011.
“The next line in the sand is going to be the debt ceiling,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker told reporters today at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
At the press conference where he appeared with fellow Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Corker said he would want more than $1 trillion in Medicare and other spending cuts in exchange for a $1 trillion hike in the debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned Congressional leaders on Wednesday that the U.S. will reach its statutory debt limit next Monday. The Treasury will begin to take so-called “extraordinary measures” to create $200 billion of room to keep the U.S. from default. Under normal circumstances, Geithner said these measures would hold up for two months.
President Barack Obama said earlier this month that he will not negotiate around the debt ceiling this time, calling it a “a bad strategy for America” and “not a game I will play.” Republicans say that it is an important point of leverage to restrain future government spending.