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In Williamsburg, the group pitched the strategy Boehner has followed since then: a short-term debt ceiling increase and a House budget that balances in 10 years. Boehner also agreed to keep top-line spending levels at the levels they would be under the sequester.
At the meeting last week with leadership, the lawmakers also discussed passing a “prioritization” bill that establishes how the government operates in the event the debt ceiling increase is not agreed to.
That idea has been controversial in the past, even among some Republicans, who argue that it would not truly mitigate the enormous harm of going over the debt ceiling cliff. The legislation also faces technical hurdles given the government’s complicated payment system.
The short-term debt ceiling increase enacted in January expires May 16, although the Treasury Department at that time will be able to use “extraordinary” measures to extend government spending into the summer.