“Setting the stage for a long summer of heated negotiations, the House plans to reject a proposal today that would increase the nation’s ability to borrow funds without also making dramatic cuts in federal spending,” the Washington Post writes. “A day before they huddle with President Obama at the White House, Republicans will hold a vote on the administration’s initial request that the nation’s debt ceiling be lifted above the current $14.3 trillion limit without any accompanying spending reductions. … House GOP leaders timed the vote tonight to demonstrate that point before all 241 members of the Republican conference visit Obama tomorrow. It will be his first meeting with the entire group of Republicans since they won the House majority in the November midterms.”
Stu Rothenberg notes hypocrisy on the debt ceiling.
Speaking of hypocrisy, see if you can follow along with the rhetoric on Medicare. “Political opportunism is nothing new in Washington, nor is the occasional policy flip-flop,” The Hill writes. “But the brazenness with which lawmakers are changing their rhetoric to woo seniors has amazed even long-time Washington hands who can't recall such a rapid - and complete - role reversal.”
“House Republicans are underlining their support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms a week after the bitter loss of a New York congressional seat,” The Hill writes. “Even as newly emboldened Democrats hopeful of retaking the House intensify their criticism, there seems to be little appetite or inclination among Republicans for modifying their approach — even if that approach ends up carrying electoral costs.”
“The glacial pace of action in the Senate this year is starting to wear on some of the ambitious junior Democrats who want more of a record to run on,” Roll Call writes. “Several first-term Democrats said the all-encompassing budget and debt debates have put other ideas on hold — from education to energy to infrastructure and more.”
Former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (R) has joined Goldman Sachs as an adviser.
“Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) criticized the economic record of his party’s last president on Sunday, saying George W. Bush’s administration was not committed enough to limiting government,” The Hill writes. “ ‘He grew government. And he increased the government’s spending,’ the freshman congressman, a Tea Party favorite, said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ “ ‘And, so, you cannot have a cut in taxes and also have a gross enlargement of government. That’s one of the things we don’t want to see happen,’ West added.”