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07.31.11

Politicians Debate Debt Ceiling

Sen. McConnell says a deal is “very close,” the White House says “no deal,” Sen. Kyl compares Obama to Tea Partiers, and more in our Sunday talk roundup.

McConnell: "Very Close" to a Deal

It seems as though Senate Republican Mitch McConnell is on an “almost” celebration parade. On Face the Nation, McConnell repeated his headline-making statement that “we’re very close” to a debt deal. But will this deal be exactly what the Republicans want? “There’s only so much you can achieve when you don’t have the leverage of power,” he said. And the excuses begin.

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Plouffe: No Deal!

The White House has a message for the nation and Mitch McConnell: no deal! Speaking to David Gregory on Meet the Press, senior White House adviser David Plouffe said that while both parties are moving toward agreement, a deal to avoid default is not official. But, as Plouffe notes, the hours are ticking away.

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Kyl: Obama Once Like Tea Party Freshmen

Could President Obama and House Tea Party freshmen possibly have anything in common? Republican Sen. Jon Kyl said that, much like the Tea Partiers, Obama used to oppose raising the debt ceiling when he was a freshman senator. "Sometimes people are just so firm in their belief that they think they have to vote against the debt-ceiling increase even though the majority of us in both the Republican and Democratic party believe that that would be a mistake,” Kyl said on Fox News Sunday.

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Graham: Only Half House GOP Will Support Deal

It seems that reports of an impending debt deal may have been greatly exaggerated—at least according to Sen. Lindsey Graham. On This Week, the Republican told Christiane Amanpour that he predicts only half of the House GOP will support a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Watch as George Stephanopoulos and Graham argue over how many Republicans will actually back the bill.

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Lagarde: Damage Is Done

Well, so much for the international “unshakable” confidence in the U.S. Treasury. In an interview with Fareed Zakaria, head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde admitted the U.S. economy’s reputation has no doubt gone downhill. “That very strong confidence that generally led to flight equality and investment in Treasury bonds is slightly eroded at the moment,” she said.

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Former Moody’s Economist: U.S. Can Avoid Downgrade

Looks as though Moody’s is in for some excitement if a debt deal passes. On State of the Union, former Moody’s economist Mark Zandi said if a deal is passed in Washington, the U.S. can avoid a downgrade from its AAA credit rating. But has all the endless squabbling already hurt the economy? According to this top economist, yes.

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Reporting the Debt-Deal Drama

What’s in a bill? In a panel discussion on Reliable Sources, CBS News’s Nancy Cordes said that while trillions of dollars are reportedly being cut, we the people have no idea what this actually means. Don’t worry about feeling stupid though: The New York Times’s Michael Shear echoed this, and often the politicians that reporters go to for comment on cuts don’t understand either. 

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