US debt limit bill gives political cover to both parties
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Budget experts think the 10-year pledge will be a steep climb for Republicans, especially if they refuse to use any tax increases for deficit reduction and if they stick to previous proposals to slowly phase in benefit cuts for programs like Medicare.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are talking about defending those social safety net programs, investing in other programs and further raising taxes on the rich and big corporations, despite Republican insistence that tax increases are off the table.
Whether or not there is a sweet spot for compromise remains to be seen.
But with Senate passage looking certain on the Republican debt limit bill and Obama's approval all but guaranteed, Republicans are the ones who have blinked in this latest duel.
They have agreed to let government borrowing continue without extracting one penny's worth of spending cuts.