Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee are asking the Obama administration how large of a hike in the debt ceiling it intends to seek in an effort to prompt negotiations that the administration continues to insist will not happen.

In a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday, the lawmakers made clear they’d seek spending cuts as part of any agreement to increase the debt ceiling.

“We ask that the president begin discussions now to combat our long-term debt through meaningful entitlement reforms,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent by Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Finance Committee’s top Republican, and eight other Republicans.

President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday and told him he had no intention of negotiating over the debt ceiling this time around, a stance reiterated by Lew this week. Administration officials insist that such talks hurt the economy in 2011 and don’t want to repeat the experience.

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