By Molly Hooper - 09-28-13 06:00 AM ET
President Obama wants to "take the easy way out" in the upcoming fight to raise the debt ceiling, a senior GOP lawmaker said Saturday.
The Republican House members insist that major deficit-reduction provisions accompany an increase in the national debt limit; while Obama and Democrats want Congress to lift the borrowing authority without policy strings attached.
House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in the weekly radio address that "the president is now demanding that we increase the debt limit without engaging in any kind of bipartisan discussions about addressing our spending problem."
The Washington Republican explained that the president and Congress have compromised on deficit reduction provisions in prior debt limit increases.
And the upcoming battle to hammer out a deal with Obama should not be a surprise to the administration, she said, noting that the president made such a deal in 2011.
Conceding that the 2011 Budget Control Act has "flaws – including the ‘sequester’ the president devised and insisted on," McMorris Rodgers pointed out that "it has cut spending."
McMorris Rodgers called the potential showdown a "golden opportunity" to hammer out an agreement that included raising the nation's $16.7 trillion debt limit before it is exceeded on October 17th.
The No. 4 ranking House Republican said that her party has a "bill" to raise the debt limit, to which a number of GOP priorities have been attached, designed to cut additional spending.
Still, the House GOP leadership had trouble selling that plan to their rank-and-file lawmakers last week and had to reschedule a vote intended to happen Friday.
It is just one of the issues that the majority party in the House has to tackle over the next few weeks.
Congress will be busy at work this weekend, as the House GOP scrambles to move an unrelated bill that would prevent a government shutdown on Monday.