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NEWS
July 29, 2011 | By James Oliphant and Lisa Mascaro
As he did earlier in the week, President Obama Friday urged Americans to contact members of Congress to push them to reach an bipartisan agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling. And again, those listening appear to have heeded the call. Shortly after the president's remarks, the House phone system was nearing capacity, according to an internal alert. "Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals," the alert said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 20, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama has dropped a proposal included in previous budget offers that would have changed the way entitlement benefit increases are calculated, an acknowledgment that the era of “grand bargain” fiscal talks with Republicans has ended -- at least for now. The decision also comes as the White House has worked to iron out major differences with Democratic allies in Congress and the party's liberal base in an election year....
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NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Monday that she supported the deficit-reduction package agreed upon by congressional leaders and President Obama, calling it a “settlement of necessity” to avert a federal default. “Obviously, it's a compromise and it's hard,” she said, emerging from a meeting of Democratic senators attended by Vice President Joe Biden. Feinstein, a Democrat, said reaching an accord to keep the federal government solvent is necessary to protect a fragile economy.
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- President Obama delivered an election-year pep talk to Democrats on Friday, thanking his congressional allies for showing courage and unity "under the most difficult circumstances" in budget battles with Republicans. Speaking at the House Democratic caucus' three-day retreat here, the president said the recent passage of a debt ceiling increase without any concession to Republican demands showed the power of a unified Democratic Party. But while praising the Democrats and offering Valentine's Day wishes to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, Obama notably did not repeat the prediction he made last year that she would regain her role as speaker after this November's elections.
OPINION
September 27, 2013
Re "Debt ceiling baloney," Editorial, Sept. 25 During the two terms of President George W. Bush's administration, Republicans voted seven times to raise the U.S. debt limit without demanding any cuts in federal spending. Now, GOP lawmakers should continue this responsible tradition that was endorsed by their last president. In 1983, President Reagan issued this warning to Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.): "The full consequences of a default by the United States - or even the serious prospect of a default - by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate.
NEWS
August 1, 2011
Congressional leaders spent Monday trying to sell their respective caucuses in the House and the Senate on the benefits of the debt-ceiling and deficit-reduction agreement struck over the weekend at the White House. Here are some elements of the deal: -- If Congress approves it, the compromise would raise the government's borrowing limit in stages by at least $2.1 trillion and up to $2.4 trillion, while providing a dollar-for-dollar exchange in spending cuts. The package would resolve the issue until 2013, after the presidential election.
NEWS
July 22, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
The Senate on Friday defeated the Republican "Cut, Cap and Balance" proposal, a move that puts the onus on President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to present a plan soon to raise the debt ceiling or risk a potentially catastrophic default. The procedural vote to kill the measure that was approved by the Republican-controlled House on Tuesday was along party lines in the Democratic-controlled Senate. "We're going to dispose of this legislation as it needs to be, so that President Obama and the speaker can move forward on a [plan]
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By James Oliphant
With the nation on the razor's edge of a government default, the last-ditch, bipartisan deal to raise the federal debt ceiling and slash the budget deficit cleared its largest hurdle Monday evening, as the Republican-controlled House easily passed the legislation by a 269-161 tally. The Senate will vote at noon Tuesday. If it passes, the legislation would then go to President Obama's desk for signature and to avert a default, which the White House has maintained could have done catastrophic damage to the flagging economy.
NEWS
May 15, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- Ready for another debt-ceiling standoff in Congress? House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday he will insist on spending cuts in exchange for a vote in Congress to raise the nation's debt limit, forewarning a year-end showdown that could resemble the standoff that resulted in a gridlocked Congress and the nation's first ever credit rating downgrade. “We shouldn't dread the debt limit. We should welcome it. It's an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction,” Boehner is expected to say Tuesday afternoon in remarks released by his office ahead of his talk at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 2012 Fiscal Summit in Washington.
NEWS
October 2, 2013 | By Jon Healey
You could see this one coming. Politico reported late Tuesday that congressional leaders are starting to talk about two fiscal crises merging in the days ahead. Federal agencies have partially shut down because House Republicans refuse to pass a bill to keep them open unless Senate Democrats agreed to delay or derail the 2010 healthcare law they (and President Obama) strongly support. The more time Congress spends debating this shutdown, the closer the federal government comes to hitting the debt ceiling -- a limit that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says will be reached around Oct. 17. The end of the fiscal year Sept.
OPINION
February 12, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The House Republican leadership did the right thing Tuesday, allowing the chamber to approve a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for one year unconditionally. The move doesn't end the fight over federal budget deficits and the growing national debt. It just allows the debate to continue without causing needless damage to the economy. Congress committed itself in December to borrow more than the current $17-trillion limit when it adopted a bipartisan budget that included more than half a trillion in deficit spending.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Congress gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing more federal borrowing to pay the nation's bills, but not without a dramatic scene in the Senate as Republican leaders scrambled to find enough votes to head off a filibuster attempt led by one of their colleagues. The House had swiftly approved the bill this week, and smooth passage was expected in the Senate, ending three years of partisan brinkmanship over the debt limit. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- Congress gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing more federal borrowing to pay the nation's bills, ending the last three years of partisan brinkmanship over the debt limit, but not without a last-minute protest led by tea party Republicans in the Senate. Overcoming a crucial hurdle, the Senate voted, 67-31, to advance the bill, only after top GOP leaders switched their positions to push past hard-line Republicans in a dramatic hourlong ordeal. The Senate easily adopted the bill on a final party-line vote, 55-43, with two Republicans absent as a snowstorm was poised to hit the capital.
NEWS
February 11, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Unable to corral his restive troops around a debt ceiling plan, Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday he would bring a bill to the House floor to allow continued federal borrowing with no strings attached. A vote is set for Wednesday on the measure. Boehner will need to rely on Democrats for passage since many GOP legislators continue to oppose any effort to lift the ceiling on federal debt. [Updated at 8:38 a.m. Feb. 11: Boehner subsequently announced that the vote would take place Tuesday night due to a snow storm expected to hit Washington Wednesday.
NATIONAL
February 11, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday to extend the nation's borrowing capacity for another year, lifting the threat of government default and ending - for now - three years of partisan fiscal battles. House Republican leaders rushed the measure to the floor after their fractious majority failed to agree on what, if any, conditions it would try to attach to the must-pass legislation. In the end they submitted a bill with no strings, leaving it to the chamber's Democratic minority to provide most of the votes for passage.
NEWS
February 6, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
Wait, the House isn't going to fix the nation's broken immigration system this year after all? Darn, and I had that square in my political Super Bowl betting sheet. Oh well, pass the chips and salsa, I guess. In what will probably come as a surprise to at least one or two Americans, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the Republican-led House probably won't be able to get around to immigration reform this session -- what with the Olympics going on, and March Madness coming up, and big-league pitchers and catchers about to report, and the cherry blossoms due to bloom soon in D.C., plus it's been cold and snowy and no one on Capitol Hill really feels much like working anyway.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
As Mitt Romney slammed GOP rival Rick Santorum for repeatedly voting to raise the debt ceiling on Tuesday, he was standing alongside  Sen. Rob Portman  of Ohio who has  also cast several ballots to raise the cap on the nation's debt. The former Massachusetts governor praised Portman for not being like other Republicans who went to Washington and embraced the capital's free-spending ways. "We have in Washington a malady that affects so many there -- not your senator, but many others, who somehow think it's OK to spend money that they don't have," Romney told the employees of a medical device manufacture gathered in the suburb of Cincinnati.
NATIONAL
February 4, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - With another major fiscal deadline looming at month's end, House Republicans are preparing to seek only modest concessions from President Obama to raise the nation's debt ceiling and will instead try to press their political advantage on other issues. The strategy is a stark reversal from 2011, when the new House Republican majority pushed a partisan debt standoff that led to a historic downgrade in the nation's credit rating. Republicans bore the brunt of public blame for both the downgrade and last year's 16-day government shutdown.
NEWS
January 29, 2014 | By Jon Healey
As House Republicans head off to their annual retreat in Maryland, Politico reports that one item that had been expected to dominate the strategizing -- what to do about the debt limit -- may already be settled. According to the site's Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, GOP leaders have concluded that there's nothing to be gained from waging a pitched battle over raising the debt limit. Sure, they'll attach some strings to their debt-limit bill, but they're not prepared to go to the mat with Senate Democrats and the White House to keep them in the final version of the measure.
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