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Mid-year checkup

"Mid-year checkup" Continued...

Issue: "Focus on Mitt Romney," July 16, 2011

As it turns out, the best they could get really translated to a measly $352 million in actual reduced federal outlays, according to the Congressional Budget Office. For many the sound and fury of the spring debate ended up signifying nothing. "We had an opportunity this week to rise to the occasion of this historic moment," said Rep. Walsh, "and we blinked."

WHAT'S NEXT Seizing the debt ceiling opportunity: Republicans have a chance to try it again with another spending showdown. This time the debate is over raising the federal debt limit. Democrats are pushing Republicans to agree to tax increases as part of the deal to increase the nation's borrowing power past its current $14.3 trillion. So far, the GOP is resisting. "It's time Washington take the hit," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., "not the taxpayers."

A group of conservatives, including a significant bloc of 10 Republican senators, has pledged to prevent a debt ceiling increase unless it includes measures to cut and cap federal spending. The goal is to find $2.4 trillion in 10-year savings to offset a similar projected increase in the debt ceiling, an ambitious number that would almost certainly include some sort of entitlement reform.

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