Lawmakers Warn 'Fiscal Crisis Not Over'

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National parks and museums are up and running and furloughed employees are back at work Friday after a lengthy government shutdown.

"We're pretty excited to see all the museums today," one young tourist said.

But some lawmakers warn the fiscal crisis isn't over. The spending deal, signed into law early Thursday morning, is only a temporary fix.

It only keeps the government running until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. It also doesn't address any long-term budget problems like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

"What's really important is that there are changes to entitlement programs because they are driving our spending and debt crises," Romina Boccia, a fellow in federal budgetary affairs with the Heritage Foundation, said.

So far, Congress and the White House have shown no real willingness to address it, which means more government spending and higher deficits in the future.

When President Barack Obama took office, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Now it's just under $17 trillion. By the time he leaves office in 2017, it will be more than $19 trillion.

"What we need to (do) is get on a path to balance," Boccia admonished.

Some in Congress are ready to start doing just that. Leaders from the congressional budget committees met Thursday to begin negotiations.

"Our goal is to do good for the American people, to get this debt under control, to do smart deficit reduction and to do things that we can think can grow the economy and get people back to work. Those are our shared goals," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told CBN News's David Brody, that a short-term band aid won't solve America's problems.

"Tired of gimmicks -- I'm not voting for any more short-term solutions," Rubio said.

But Washington remains divided. Democrats are fiercely opposed to any cuts in entitlement benefits and Republicans insist on spending cuts - not tax increases.

So for now, no real solution is in sight and America continues to plunge deeper into debt, heading towards what many economists warn will be an inevitable crisis.

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CBN News
Caitlin Burke and Charlene Israel

Caitlin Burke and Charlene Israel

CBN News

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