WASHINGTON — A key centrist House Republican is ruling out an alternative option to avoid a calamitous debt default, which would require a small number of Republican lawmakers to sidestep Chairman Kevin McCarthy and work with Democrats on a solution. legislative.

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Nebraska, said Monday night that using a procedural tool known as a discharge petition to force a House vote on a «clean» debt limit increase he was dead on arrival. The mechanism requires 218 signatories — in the current House, that means at least six Republicans and all Democrats — to guarantee a vote on a bill, even if the speaker doesn’t want to mention it.

“I think it’s DOA,” Bacon told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Because the president has to make some compromises with the Republicans. For him to say my way or the highway, no way.»

Bacon is one of the most centrist Republicans in the House. He has been nicknamed the «House GOP Joe Manchin,» after Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., the centrist Democrat with a knack for challenging his party, and represents an Omaha-based district that was won by President Joe Biden in 2020.

Bacon has been an outspoken critic of his party’s far-right, which is threatening to withdraw support for raising the debt limit unless Biden agrees to conservative political concessions. He previously opened the door to an alternative discharge request, but now he is closing it. If Bacon does not agree, it is doubtful that any republican will.

On Monday, Bacon stepped up his criticism of Democrats, who say paying the country’s bills is non-negotiable and that fiscal policy negotiations must be separated from the debt ceiling. “They are the insolvent party,” he said. «They want insolvency.»

“We are not here to approve this spending,” he added.

Bacon’s position is music to the ears of ultra-conservatives like Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., a McCarthy critic, R-Calif.

«I’m glad to hear that,» Good said Monday night. «I hadn’t heard that, but I’m glad to know that’s what she said.»

Good praised McCarthy’s comments earlier in the day demanding that Biden agree to «sit down and negotiate» and «commit to finding common ground on a responsible increase in the debt limit» as well as «move toward a balanced budget.» McCarthy did not offer any specific cost cuts in his speech.

Ultraconservative Rep. Ralph Norman, RS.C., said Republicans are crafting a specific spending-cutting plan that can get 218 votes and could land in the next few weeks.

“Let’s be specific. We’re just working on it. I have to get 218 votes,” she said. «It’s going to be on paper.»

In recent weeks, amid congressional deadlock on the way forward, congressional pundits and Wall Street analysts have floated the idea of ​​a dump petition as a fail-safe mechanism that could ensure the US does not default on your debt. The Treasury Department has set a June 5 deadline for Congress take action or risk breaching the debt ceiling.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates accused Republicans on Monday of trying to «actively send our economy into a tailspin with a default, which they have a non-negotiable constitutional duty to prevent.»

For now, at least, Democrats say they have no plans to launch a relief petition to lift the debt ceiling, arguing it’s the job of the House majority to find a solution.

“I have always stressed how difficult it is to successfully carry out a discharge petition,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee. “There’s a reason it only happened once in the last 10 years. So it shouldn’t be Plan A.»