Congress Goes into Final Week to Come Up with Debt Ceiling Deal

Congressional experts say there’s just one week left until politicians in Washington have to come up with a debt ceiling deal.  It’s actually two-and-a-half weeks when the U.S. will hit its debt limit, but the Congress needs the extra time to write up a plan and get it passed through the House and Senate.

Both of Alaska’s Senators – both Republican Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Mark Begich – are warning that not raising the borrowing limit could have catastrophic affects on financial markets and on Americans’ payments from the government, from Social Security checks to military pay.

A flurry of press conferences this morning in the Capitol featured both House Republicans and Democrats blasting the other side for not compromising more.  President Obama held  his own press briefing this morning too.

Senator Mark Begich lined up with Obama, saying this is the time to deal with both the spending and revenue side of the equation, and accusing some in the House of dangerously playing politics.

“Senate members in the majority and minority recognize the catastrophic impact of a debt, not getting to a debt ceiling issue.  I think you have people in the House that are still campaigning.  Still stuck in their campaign speeches. And you’ve got 40 or 50 over there that are no under any circumstances.  That’s not responsible.  Now they can argue if the spending was bad, and I’ll make my list of things they shouldn’t have spent money on, but we are where we are, we have bills that are due, the responsibility is to manage that and move forward. That’s what we should be doing,” Begich said.

The President appeared to take a dim view of a Senate effort to cut spending in exchange for clarifying the President’s authority to raise the debt limit on his own.

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