A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt, joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement for consenting to lift the country’s borrowing limit.
The tension is the latest illustration of how the tea-party-infused GOP is driving the debate in Washington over federal spending. And it shows how the debt issue is testing the Obama administration’s clout as Democrats, particularly those from politically competitive states, resist White House arguments against setting conditions on legislation to raise the debt ceiling.
The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a “real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.”
Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is “hopeful” that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit, said her spokesman, Linden Zakula. Klobuchar is also up for reelection next year.
Months ago it seemed unthinkable that Congress might refuse to raise the borrowing limit. Leaders in both parties agreed that failing to do so would risk a default by the U.S. government, which could send interest rates soaring and cut off Social Security checks, as well as salaries for combat troops.
And although many lawmakers and aides say a bipartisan deal is likely, the insistence on conditions by a small but pivotal group of Democrats suggests that any agreement would almost certainly have to include substantial cuts in the deficit — not just to mollify House Republicans but to satisfy Democrats who could be politically vulnerable on spending issues....Answer Question
Answer by NannyB. at 2:16 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
While I agree, I'd rather see X amount from Y sectors. Clear, concise and measurable outcomes. "Real and meaningful" is way too subjective. Stop the complaining and posturing and get it done.
Answer by Sisteract at 2:20 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
Answer by NotPanicking at 4:01 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
Answer by LoriKeet at 5:03 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
Answer by -Eilish- at 6:43 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:49 PM on Apr. 29, 2011
Answer by annabarred at 9:10 PM on Apr. 30, 2011