Twenty-four Senate Republicans said in a letter to President Joe Biden that they oppose raising the debt ceiling "without real structural spending reform that reduces deficit spending and brings fiscal sanity back to Washington."
The debt limit or debt ceiling — the terms are used interchangeably — is a cap on the money the U.S. government can borrow to pay its bills. It does not authorize any new spending, but it allows the Treasury Department to finance the existing legal obligations already approved by Congress.
The federal government hit its statutory debt limit Jan. 19 and Treasury might be out of options to pay U.S. bills come June, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a letter to congressional leaders this month.
Congressional Republicans want federal spending reduced before they will support raising the debt ceiling.
"We do not intend to vote for a debt-ceiling increase without structural reforms to address current and future fiscal realities and manage out-of-control government policies," the senators, led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., said in their Jan. 27 letter.
The senators did not specify where they'd like to see the spending cuts made.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his caucus have echoed similar sentiments this month. Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden will meet Wednesday to discuss the issue, but the White House has said repeatedly that raising the debt ceiling is something that should be done without conditions.
A coalition of 11 state treasurers and the comptrollers of Maryland and New York City on Jan. 24 sent a letter to Mr. McCarthy urging House Republicans to increase the debt limit in a timely manner.
The treasurers and comptrollers said if the debt ceiling were breached, the value of portfolios invested across asset classes would decrease significantly. "This would include damage to Americans' pension funds, 401(k)s and other retirement and educational savings vehicles," they said in the letter.