While President Barack Obama has pledged that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, reality will likely prove otherwise, according to Politico
The GOP wants to tie any debt-limit increase to spending cuts, with $1 of cuts for every $1 increase in borrowing authority. The fact that the fiscal cliff agreement includes a two-month delay in automatic spending reductions means they will come up for consideration at the same time as the debt-ceiling increase.
That virtually guarantees Obama will play ball with Republicans, who will have some leverage, Politico reports. A CBS News poll from last month showed that 68 percent of Americans don’t favor a debt-limit increase.
“The president liked to point out on the campaign trail that most Americans supported the idea of taxing the rich,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “What he conveniently left out is that even more Americans support the idea of cutting spending.”
Obama’s strategy will likely include an effort to push public sentiment to his side. He will accuse Republicans of irresponsibility, saying they want to gut popular entitlement programs as a condition for boosting the debt limit, according to Politico.
Many commentators say the debt-ceiling issue will be more difficult to solve than the fiscal cliff, because the Republicans are dealing from a stronger position this time around.
“It’s too early to say that the debt-limit negotiations will necessarily be a train wreck, but the last few weeks provide little reason to be too optimistic that politics will soon change for the better,” Sean West, head of the U.S. practice at Eurasia Group, a political consulting firm, writes on Bloomberg.
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