The White House has been asking Congress for months to simply raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached. Last night, the House of Representatives brought up such a measure for a vote, and it failed 318 to 97. Eighty-two Democrats sided with the Republicans. So now we have bipartisan agreement that there need to be cuts in spending tied to a vote to raise the debt limit. Whether those cuts are serious or symbolic will be the debate in Washington for the next two months. John Boehner has called for any increase in the debt limit to be offset (over a longer period of time) by corresponding cuts (i.e. if the debt limit is raised $2 trillion for two years, Congress would also cut spending by $2 trillion in the next five to ten years). Harry Reid says he rejects Boehner's proposal.

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