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Ahead of House retreat, conservative groups settle on debt limit ask

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

House Republicans will head to Williamsburg, Va., today for a three day retreat where it is expected they will settle on a strategy for negotiating with President Obama over how to raise the federal government’s $16.394 trillion debt limit.

Just in time to influence House members before they skip town, the heads of three of Washington’s most effective grassroots conservative organizations, Heritage Action for American, the Family Research Council, and the Club for Growth, have penned an op-ed in Politico outlining what they believe a deal must include:

Very simply, we can quickly jump-start our economy and improve the lives of millions of Americans by insisting that Washington not raise the debt ceiling unless our nation gets on a path to a balanced budget within 10 years that stays balanced.

During the last budget debate, senators put forward three budgets that balanced, including one from Utah Sen. Mike Lee that was based on the Heritage Foundation’s own plan. With a few tweaks, we are convinced that Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget could also balance in ten years.

Balancing never is the height of irresponsibility. The only question is whether America gets on a path to balance through an orderly process or whether the debt limit needs to be used to force the president to address this moral obligation.

Notice the lines about the Lee and Ryan budgets. They seem to suggest that even the Ryan budget is not good enough for these conservatives since it did not balance the budget in ten years. Achieving those kind of cuts would require not only steep cuts to domestic spending, including defense, but also fundamental reform of our four entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare).

Heritage Action has even branded the plan as #path2balance on twitter.

If this is what Republican’s are proposing coming out of the Williamsburg retreat, look for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pass a clean debt limit hike close to the deadline and then dare Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, not to bring it up for a vote.

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