House GOP leaders prepare for debt ceiling fight

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CNN) — After the Treasury Secretary notified Congress that the nation’s borrowing authority runs out in mid-October, House Republican leaders met Wednesday evening to discuss a number of GOP policy priorities they plan to attach to a bill to raise the debt limit.

The draft bill includes several policy priorities the GOP-led House has already passed, and it is still being finalized, according to several Republican aides and members leaving the meeting. The bill is expected to be introduced on Thursday, with a vote on the House floor as soon as Saturday.

House Speaker John Boehner and other top leaders briefed their members last week on plans for the debt bill. Their proposal would include a one year delay of Obamacare, tax reforms, some entitlement reforms, approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and other measures. But there are signs GOP leaders may be running into resistance from conservatives. Some don’t want to authorize any new borrowing; others want to add new items to the measure; and still others question the strategy of taking up the debt bill in the middle of fight over a spending measure and possible government shutdown.

“Why do we want to ask for stuff with the debt ceiling that we might be able to get with the CR ?” Texas Republican Rep Blake Farenthold asked reporters.

President Obama and congressional Democrats have insisted they will not negotiate over legislation to increase the debt ceiling.

“The bill the Republicans propose to put on the floor this week is nothing but a wish list of unrelated and partisan policies they know won’t go anywhere. As a result they are taking their country’s credit hostage to their own small agenda,” Rep Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters Wednesday.

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