Senate Republicans press for a contingency plan if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling

The Hill

Vicki Needham

A group of Republican senators is calling on the Obama administration to develop a contingency plan in case Congress fails to increase the debt limit by the August deadline.

In a letter sent by 22 senators, the lawmakers questioned recent remarks by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who said the administration’s fallback plan is for Congress to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit by Aug. 2.

Led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the letter calls on the administration to develop a plan for all contingencies as the best way to “reassure financial markets.”

“We are calling on your administration to immediately begin working with budget experts in Congress to allocate spending within a $2.6 trillion debt-ceiling budget,” the lawmakers wrote. “All agency heads should then be instructed to develop plans to make sure essential services would be funded on a priority basis.”

The senators urged the president to “take advantage of the genuine desire expressed by Republican senators in our meeting with you on May 12 to work with you in good faith to solve our nation’s fiscal problem.”

Along with Johnson, the letter was signed by: Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Mike Lee (Utah), John McCain (Ariz.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), John Thune (S.D.) and David Vitter (La.).

Full article here.