WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Debt Ceiling Debate Returns To Capitol Hill

Play associated audio
Lawmakers could face the debt ceiling debate once again.
Lawmakers could face the debt ceiling debate once again.

Last year the partisan bickering over the debt ceiling led Standard and Poor's to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. Now, with many Republicans flatly refusing to support a debt ceiling increase, analysts worry the U.S. may face another downgrade. That could imperil Virginia's credit rating because the state's economy is so intertwined with that of the federal government.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says he's surprised the Speaker of the House is rehashing this debate.

"It's Groundhogs Day," says Warner. "We saw what happened when the Speaker played debt ceiling roulette last summer. We almost blew up the economy, and with the turmoil in Europe, to kind of lay down these [sic] my way or the highway approach. There's nothing productive in that."

But Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) says the debt ceiling debate is the perfect time to refocus the conversation in Washington.

"Unless Washington learns that we just can't keep on this huge spending appetite we've had, there's no way we're going to balance this budget and get back to where we need, which is strong credit ratings but also fiscal soundness," Forbes says.

It's an election year, so lawmakers plan to spend more time on the campaign trail than hashing out their differences on the debt. Analysts say that's a big part of the reason why the public is so fed up with this Congress.


'Kids Love To Be Scared': Louis Sachar On Balancing Fun And Fear

The award-winning author of Holes has just published a new novel for young readers, called Fuzzy Mud. It mixes middle-school social puzzles with a more sinister mystery: a rogue biotech threat.

Confronting A Shortage Of Eggs, Bakers Get Creative With Replacements

Eggs are becoming more expensive and scarce recently because so many chickens have died from avian flu. So bakers, in particular, are looking for cheaper ingredients that can work just as well.

Jon Stewart's Private White House Meetings

Comedian Jon Stewart was called to the White House on at least two occasions for private meetings with President Obama, according to Politico. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with reporter Darren Samuelsohn.

An App Tells Painful Stories Of Slaves At Monticello's Mulberry Row

A new app uses geolocation to bring to life a lesser-known section of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate — Mulberry Row, which was the bustling enclave of skilled slaves who worked at Monticello.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.