House GOP Debt Ceiling Offer To Include Pro-Wall Street Provisions, Health Care Cuts

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from The Huffington Post,

House Republicans plan to demand major perks for coal companies and Wall Street banks, alongside healthcare and social service cuts and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling until the end of 2014, according to a source close to the House GOP leadership.

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have repeatedly stated that they will not negotiate over raising the debt limit, saying they will not make a political football of the U.S. government’s creditworthiness.

The Republican plan, which would also constitute a significant overhaul of the environmental and financial regulatory system, would cut pensions for Federal employees and raise taxes on immigrant families with parents who do not have a Social Security number. The document claims $7 billion in savings from restricting the child tax credit to immigrants who do have a number, and up to $84 billion from “reform” to the Federal Employee Retirement System.

The plan would increase Medicare means testing, and would eliminate social service block grants and a fund for preventative healthcare in the Affordable Care Act that conservatives have characterized as a “slush fund.” Block grants are a capped entitlement program given to states to help fund services like daycare, transportation and home-delivered meals. The Prevention and Public Health Fund has included funds for training primary care doctors and supporting healthy corner stores.

Coal and oil companies would benefit from provisions to expand offshore drilling and drilling on federal lands. The proposal blocks the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and coal ash, and would give Congress the power to veto any “major” regulation issued by a federal agency (because an affirmative vote would be required, Congress could void new rules simply through inaction).

In addition, the document claims $23 billion in budget savings from a provision to “Eliminate Dodd-Frank Bailout Fund.”

Wall Street banks would benefit from an item that gives Congress the authority to slash funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a signature achievement of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Regulators at other banking agencies have complained that GOP budget cuts have limited their ability to police financial excess.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote in a letter to Boehner that the debt ceiling would be reached on Oct. 17, and that the Treasury Department would have less cash on hand than expected to meet existing obligations.

The planned legislation will raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 31, 2014. The legislation is also expected to include language backing the Keystone XL pipeline, principles for tax reform and a one-year delay to the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

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