UPDATE 1-U.S. Republicans consider their list of demands on debt limit

Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:25am EST
 
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* Republican lawmakers won't support "blank check" debt limit increase

* Keystone XL, medical device tax seen as possible conditions

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Congressional Republicans are showing little stomach for another bruising fight over the U.S. debt limit next month, but they do want to extract some concessions in exchange for expanding the Treasury's borrowing authority.

A senior Republican aide said that the party's leaders in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are in "listening mode" and seeking ideas from rank-and-file lawmakers.

The options range from demands for expanded offshore energy production to small tweaks in President Barack Obama's healthcare law to approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Another idea put forth would involve overhauling federal job-training programs, an element in a House Republican jobs bill that has gotten no traction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"If the president is asking for a blank check, we're not going to do that," said Representative Luke Messer, an Indiana Republican who serves on the House Budget Committee.

"I won't support a debt limit increase unless it is partnered with policies that will either reduce the deficit or help grow the economy," he added.

Obama and congressional Democrats have vowed not to negotiate over raising the debt limit, arguing that it is Congress' responsibility to ensure that its spending obligations can be paid.   Continued...