President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested he is open to getting rid of the nation’s debt ceiling altogether.
“It could be discussed,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “There are a lot of good reasons to do that.”
A day after Trump agreed with Democrat to suspend the debt ceiling for three months, a shorter time period than Republican leaders wanted, reports said Trump also told Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that he was willing to work with them on legislation to eliminate the ceiling permanently.
According to Damian Paletta and Ashley Parker at The Washington Post, one person familiar with the meeting called said Schumer and Trump have a “gentleman’s agreement” to work on a deal to get rid of the debt ceiling.
“The President encouraged Congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Business Insider.
Schumer initially brought up the idea in the meeting on Wednesday, Politico reported. Trump replied, “Let’s do it.”
The idea drew immediate pushback from Republican leaders, who view the debt ceiling as an important tool to extract spending cuts and fight for fiscal reforms.
“There’s a legitimate rule for the power of the purse in Article 1 powers, and that’s something we defend here in Congress,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.
The debt ceiling has been a source of frequent stress for investors and economists, since a breach of the debt ceiling could lead the federal government to default on some of its debt. A default would likely lead to a global economic crisis and a meltdown in markets.