Debt & Taxes
Thought We Ducked The Sequester? Nope
Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:22am
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Several rank-and-file House Republicans are “prepared” to allow the automatic, across-the-board $109 billion in  cuts  to take effect, Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK told the Hill, after meeting with fellow GOP lawmakers at their annual retreat in Williamsburg. GOP lawmakers would rather have the spending reductions than none at all—a strategy that would put the onus on the Democrats for introducing alternatives. “There's clearly elements that we don't like in the sequester, but I would tell you that the majority of our conference is quite prepared to go there if they don't see something else,” Cole said. “They want to do something dramatic.” -  Read more at The Hill

DeMINT TO GOP: DON’T BACK DOWN     Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who recently left the Senate to become the new president of the Heritage Foundation, the largest conservative think tank in Washington, is urging his former colleagues touse the debt ceiling “to force the budget on to a sustainable path” even if it threatens default. His critical line—common among the Tea Partier types during the 2011 debt ceiling standoff—is that the impact would barely register. "The government itself is not going to shut down. In fact, I don't think people are even going to notice it," DeMint said.   -  Read more at CNBC 

AMERICANS FEAR DEBT CEILING DOOMSDAY  Fifty three percent of Americans say if the limit is not extended and the U.S. defaults on its debt the country will face a major economic crisis, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Not anything unusual about that, except that it shows the country has actually been listening to warnings by economists. Also, Obama has an edge in popular sentiment—not that this advantage has given him suitable leverage in the past. Just 9 percent of respondents support the insistence by Republicans that spending cuts be attached to any measure increasing the debt ceiling, while 30 percent back Obama's demand that borrowing authority be raised as soon as possible and not accompanied with a brutal fight over budget reduction.  -  Read more at Business Insider

CORNYN: RELAX, WE WONT DEFAULT     Big promise by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. He assured the Houston Chronicle on Thursday that Congress will raise the debt ceiling, despite all the panic and threats of government shutdown on the horizon. 'We will raise the debt ceiling. We're not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn said. “I will tell you unequivocally, we're not going to default.”   -  Read more at the Houston Chronicle

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.