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NC's Hagan, Ellmers react to debt ceiling deal

Posted August 1, 2011

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— Members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation spoke out Monday about an eleventh-hour deal by Washington officials to raise the U.S.'s debt ceiling, potentially avoiding devastating economic implications on both a national and global level.

The bipartisan compromise, reached late Sunday by the president and House and Senate leaders, would cut more than $2 trillion from federal spending over a decade and permit the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing cap to rise by up to $2.4 trillion, enough to keep the government afloat through the 2012 elections.

A special committee would also be established to find up to $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts. If not, there would be automatic cuts across much of the federal budget, including defense, Social Security and Medicaid.

Both Democrats and Republicans are responding to the deal with mixed opinions.

"Obviously, it is not my first choice. It probably isn't even my fifth choice, but the thing is, we could not default because that would have been just a crisis," Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.

"I also didn't want just another short-term Washington-as-usual patch that would have still left our markets in turmoil and that would have harmed our seniors and our military and our veterans," she added.

Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was unavailable for an interview with WRAL News Monday morning, his office said.

Republican Second District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers appeared on Fox News, saying the plan seems to be something she supports despite concerns.

"We've got to make sure we're doing the right things," she said. "I've got some questions, but right now, I'm in favor."

One concern is in potential Medicare reductions if the special bipartisan committee can't agree on cuts.

"We really want to do everything we can to empower and strengthen Medicare," Ellmers said. "We want to repair and strengthen Medicare, not cut away."

Congress must now vote on the deal, and it’s still unclear whether there are enough votes to get the bill passed, particularly in the House.

Lawmakers have until Tuesday night to approve the deal. If not, the Obama administration says that the U.S. will default on its loans.

Experts say that could result in a lower bond rating for the nation, shaky markets across the world and effects that trickle down in the form of higher interest rates and potential job losses, among other problems, for everyday people.

North Carolina already has an unemployment rate near 10 percent, with approximately 430,000 people without jobs, Hagan noted.

"I want us to get this default crisis under control so that we can start spending time now on what we can do to create a better business climate so that businesses can grow and hire people," she said.


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  • seenbetterdaze Aug 1, 2011

    People don't realize how much ONE TRILLION DOLLARS is...Obama, Pelosi, Reid have spent Many Trillions, mostly for Political payback to Unions, Gov. Motors, Acorn, Foreign countries, and anything that helps HIS voters. Yes he inherited the TARP, but that was small potatoes compared to what HE spent...all of it borrowed money!

  • unc70 Aug 1, 2011

    At the end the Clinton admin, the Federal annual budget was in surplus thus reducing the debt. GHW Bush, Clinton, and various R and D coalitions in Congress had together raised taxes, enacted Welfare Reform, put Social Security in a strong financial basis for the future, the economy was thriving, and most state in surplus.


    Bush tax cuts for corps and the rich. Extended by Obama.

    Medicare Rx Drug plan. No negotiation on prices with drug companies, allowing one final period of high profits from drugs whose patents will expire the next 2-3 years, with rapid declines in profits as low cost generics compete. Expect a "fix" here after these patents have expired.

    Increased military spending under W and Obama.

    Screwed up HCR mostly benefits private insurance companies. Bipartisan.

    Interest on debt.

    Financial "reform" removed Fed restrictions on Wall Street allowing market manipulation. Actual problem of bad loans was small and fixable, the market manipulations were not.

  • josephlawrence43 Aug 1, 2011

    come 2012---the conservatives will complete the job of removing the liberal/leftist/socialist democommies who, over the years managed to get this nation into this whole mess to begin with..

  • whatusay Aug 1, 2011

    Why are senators allowed to set their own salaries????, and give themselves a raise when they want one????? States should decide the salary of their senators and representatives....not themselves.

  • anonemoose Aug 1, 2011

    I called all three's offices and gave my opinion. Burr's office states he will vote yes. I also called Butterfield's office, and he will vote NO. I called Mitch McConnell's office and was put on hold for 20 minutes until the office closed.

  • whatusay Aug 1, 2011

    The poor (who won't work) are sucking the life out of this country.

  • dwr1964 Aug 1, 2011

    When you get contributions from one source to pay off another source to avoid losing your company is called a ponzi scheme. Raising your own "debt limit" and borrowing money to pay off existing loans is called.....GOVERNMENT!!!!

  • kenmorris2 Aug 1, 2011

    A small majority of one of the three elected bodies of our federal government could not accomplish this without complicity. I believe we should all think about this when we pay our taxes to support the rich, even if you call them the "job crators".

  • whatusay Aug 1, 2011

    Has anyone ever seen a poor politician???? Why? Because there are no term limits. They are self serving and will do anything to stay in office and build their wealth, even if it means bankrupting America.

  • pbjbeach Aug 1, 2011

    i say let the ecomony go into default for the republicans will surely be thrown out of office come 2012 after all of the nation wide pain that it would cause there would be people marching in the streets across this country. another 1929 style depression whichisnt much different than the current state of our economy since the repbulcian have been in charge in the house of representives in washington you can blame everything on the democrats not after the former bushe adminstrations fix our coutry so well ha ha ha ha if this is their example of fixing pray help us in the future thank you