Republicans Try to Come to Consensus on Ransom for Debt Limit Increase

United States Congress

United States Congress

(Washington, DC) – Republicans in the House of Representatives have decided on several options to use as bargaining chips for raising the country’s debt-limit. Unlike previous hostage situations, this time they’ll give President Obama a list from which to choose.

The debt-limit gives the Department of the Treasury the authority to borrow money to keep the Federal government functioning. Failure to raise the current $17.3 trillion debt-limit would mean the Federal government’s defaulting on its debts, ushering in economic catastrophe. Treasury officials have said the country will reach its borrowing limit on February 7, though bookkeeping gimmicks should keep everything afloat until late February.

Once upon a time, debt-limits were raised automatically with little or no fanfare. But since Obama’s presidency began in 2009, the country has witnessed repeated situations where the Congress attempts to hold the economy hostage for concessions from the White House.

“Those days are long gone,” said a Republican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “As long as there’s a Kenyan in the White House, there’s no such thing as an ‘automatic’ renewal of the debt-limit.”

“We believe it is irresponsible to even think, once again, about ruining the credit of the United States of America,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And it is the responsibility of Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. Congress has said it won’t allow the county to default on its obligations, which is what it said during past confrontations. And what happened? Agreements were reached at 11:59pm. Even though the debt will take about 100 years to pay off, this is no way to govern.”

House Republicans discussed possible ransom demands at their annual retreat, referred to as the “Hold Obama Hostage” event to participants, held in Las Vegas last week. According to Republican house members, speaking on condition of anonymity, Obama will have to agree to at least one of the items below to get a 100% guarantee on a Congressional vote to raise the debt-limit for one year, though there’s only a 50% chance of that:

  • White House approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport oil from Canada to refineries in the United States in Nebraska, Illinois, and Texas
  • A repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare’s) risk corridors, which limit the money a health-insurance plan can make and lose, for a duration of three years, when it is sold on the new health-care exchanges
  • A repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
  • Establishment of a committee of experts to finally determine if President Obama’s birth certificate is truly genuine
  • Agreement by the White House that President Obama will be impeached by Congress
  • Agreement by the White House that President Obama will impeach himself