Debt Ceiling Debate Resurfaces In Fiscal Cliff Talks | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Debt Ceiling Debate Resurfaces In Fiscal Cliff Talks

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It seems lawmakers moved farther apart this week in negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff as the debt ceiling debate was rekindled. 

Republicans are furious that President Obama is calling for a debt ceiling increase to be included in any deal on the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire in January. Some call it an  unprecedented power grab. Credit rating agencies are threatening to downgrade the U.S. and potentially Virginia and Maryland if lawmakers let the U.S. default on its debt. 

Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says Republicans are playing with fire again. 

"They almost brought this country to the brink of default, which would have been cataclysmic," Connolly says. "And it is because of their action we face sequestration." 

While the debt ceiling doesn't represent the approval of any new spending, many rank-and-file Republicans say the fact that Congress is being asked to allow more borrowing shows the administration hasn't gotten serious about cutting the deficit.

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