Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Republicans slowly but surely losing their nerve on debt ceiling

Democrats viewed the planned debt-ceiling vote as a symbolic, partisan exercise to prove that a debt limit increase cannot pass the Republican-controlled House unless it is linked to a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit.

All House Republicans are expected to vote against the measure, because it does not include spending cuts. Many Democrats will oppose it, saying they don't want to align themselves with a debt limit increase if the measure is destined to fail.

Democratic leaders in the Senate will also stage a vote this week that they expect to fail, this one on the House Republican budget and Medicare plan.

Their goal is to force Senate Republicans to take a stand on the Medicare proposal, which would fundamentally change the program for people now younger than 55, turning it into a system of government-subsidized private insurance plans.