No Spending Cuts, No Paychecks for Congress

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House Republicans have decided not to use the debt ceiling as a negotiating tactic right now.

They will vote Wednesday to raise America's borrowing limit without forcing a showdown over spending cuts.

Over the past few years the GOP has refused to raise the debt ceiling to try to force President Obama to rein in his annual trillion-dollar deficits.

Critics accused them of holding America's economy hostage by using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip.

But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, set a hopeful tone this week, declaring that the inaugural was a chance to "renew the old appeal to better angels."

With America more than $16.4 trillion in debt, Republicans are still maintaining their broader goal of reducing America's massive deficit-spending.

This time when they raise the debt limit, they will require that paychecks be withheld for lawmakers unless they approve spending cuts.

On May 18, another debt limit showdown will loom.

Obama and congressional Republicans also face two other fiscal deadlines. On March 1, steep automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs are scheduled to kick in. And on March 27, the current authority to keep government operating runs out.

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