Debt Ceiling Vote Described as Political Show

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:39 PM

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House Republicans are bringing to a vote a measure on increasing the debt ceiling without any spending cuts. The measure is expected to fail and is being presented to demonstrate that any measure to raise the debt ceiling must include spending cuts, The New York Times reported.

Nonetheless, fearing a negative reaction from the stock market, GOP leaders have assured Wall Street executives privately that today's vote, expected around 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, is a show.

“Wall Street is in on the joke,” R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Times.

However, Wall Street has reason to be concerned. The deadline to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing ceiling is Aug. 2, and negotiations may not play out like others that always end in deals. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., told the Times, “The people who are more politically savvy realize this may not be the normal brinkmanship.”

House GOP members have said that they either do not believe the government will default or that they do not fear it, according to the Times.

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