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U.S. Rep. James Moran (D-VA) (L) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) listen during a news conference January 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. House Democrats held a news conference to announce new legislation to eliminate the federal debt ceiling.
Congress will vote Wednesday on a bill to extend the limit for the U.S. debt ceiling that will allow the deadline to be postponed until May 18. The legislation contains no spending cuts, a sharp turnaround from previous Republican demands that dollar-for-dollar cuts be applied to any raise in the debt ceiling.
GOP support for the bill may come as a welcome surprise after months of debt ceiling disagreement – but some critical Democrats see Republican backing as a “gimmick,” or an overture. The proposed bill contains no actual amounts, but rather suspends the debt ceiling limitations until May 18. Pushing back the deadline again gives party leaders more time to negotiate – some say that it will give Republicans leverage against President Obama in the spending cut battles that will occur between now and the new debt ceiling deadline.
What do you think of the debt ceiling? Is pushing the deadline back to May a good short-term solution, or is it part of a political game? Will it be an effective stop-gap measure? How should Democrats and Republicans compromise on this issue? Should increases to the debt ceiling go hand-in-hand with spending cuts?
David Mark, Editor-in-Chief, Politix
Lisa Mascaro, Congressional Reporter, Los Angeles Times