VA Lawmakers Talk Legislative Hurdle

Feb 5, 2014

Reports that House Republican leaders are dropping efforts to tie legislation to the debt ceiling increase is being met with cheers from lawmakers in the region.

Many rank and file lawmakers wanted the G-O-P to extract a policy priority in exchange for the increase. Some wanted tweaks to so-called Obamacare while others wanted to expand energy development. Party leaders are reportedly pulling the plug on those efforts. Virginia Republican Congressman Scott Rigell says that’s good news.

“This is really the last major legislative hurdle that we face as a country this year.”

Virginia risked losing its AAA credit ratings if lawmakers got in another partisan tug of war over raising the debt ceiling. Northern Virginia Democrat Jim Moran says Republicans learned a lesson from the government shutdown.

“I do get a sense that things are beginning to settle down. I think they may have learned: It was like putting their hand on the burning stove. Everybody said, ‘Don’t do that.’ They did it. They suffered some consequences, political, and I think they’ve now learned.”

Still contentious issues remain, like what to do with the health care law, immigration reform and energy policy. All wedge issues promising to dominate Congress in the lead up to November’s elections.