Debt ceiling: 2011 showdown leaves lessons for Biden, GOP
WASHINGTON The debate around raising the debt ceiling sounds eerily similar: Newly elected House Republicans, eager to confront the Democratic president in the White House, refused to raise the debt limit without cuts to federal spending.
Negotiations over the debt ceiling consumed Washington in 2011, a high-stakes showdown between the Obama White House and the new generation of tea party House Republicans.
Now were getting down to the real hard stuff: Ill trade you my bicycle for your golf clubs, the chief negotiator, Vice President Joe Biden, said at the time.
But weeks of tense talks between Biden and the House Republicans collapsed that summer, sending Washington careening toward a fiscal crisis. When Republicans in Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling, the government risked a catastrophic default and suffered a devastating credit downgrade, a first in the nations history.
Lessons learned from the debt ceiling standoff more than a decade ago are rippling through Washington, as the White House and Congress brace for another fiscal showdown one that appears headed toward a very similar outcome. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are willing to budge.
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