Tales from the Trail

Republicans hold debt school for lawmakers

June 15, 2011

Pop quiz: What’s the debt limit?

As the August 2 deadline for raising borrowing authority nears, House Republican leaders have been holding a series of workshops for their 240 members to help “educate” them on the debt limit, according to senior aides.

In the past couple weeks, a few dozen House Republicans have attended each of the meetings to hear House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan discuss options for cutting spending and field questions about the debt limit.

“Any member (can) come in and have a presentation on debt limit,” one aide said, adding, “they can get facts and have a conversation about what it means.”

While lawmakers offer up ideas for deficit-cutting, a senior House Republican aide said there also is a discussion about “why do we need to raise the debt limit and what has happened in the past? There is that element of education” for a “cross-section” of Republican members.

Photo credit: Reuters/Chip East (National Debt Clock near New York’s Times Square), Reuters/Molly Riley (Republican members of 112th U.S. House of Representatives sworn into office, Jan. 5, 2011)

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