Shutdown Averted, Higher Stakes Loom

Battles brewing over debt ceiling, 2012 budget will be even bigger
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2011 5:33 AM CDT
House Speaker John Boehner announces that an agreement to avert a government shutdown was reached at the US Capitol in Washington, on Friday, April 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – If you think the narrowly averted government shutdown over a few billion dollars was bad, wait until you see the multi-trillion-dollar brawls coming in the next few weeks, reports the Wall Street Journal. First up, the government is about to hit its legally imposed $14.294 trillion debt ceiling by May 16, or face a national default that could trigger a new financial crisis. Assuming politicians can avoid disaster there, then comes the 2012 budget battle.

"It's one thing to play brinksmanship on a government shutdown, which can be fixed in a minute without many long-term consequences," said a former counselor to Tim Geithner. "It's another thing to do it with the debt ceiling, where the impact of failure would be catastrophic for years, if not decades." But many budget-conscious activists are itching for a fight. "I think the leadership needs to dig heels in on this budget," said an Iowa Tea Partier. "This is a precursor of things to come."

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