WASHINGTON, D.C. (09/18/2013) - Another day on Capitol Hill, another display of brutal partisan divide in Congress. This time, the issue at stake is the debt ceiling – and there is no plan in sight to resolve the problem.
"What the heck is going on here?" asked Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to a crowd of reporters Wednesday during a press conference.
Schumer, along with Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) gathered to highlight findings of Klobuchar's latest Joint Economic Committee report. The findings, according to the Democratic senators, show that a prolonged political battle over the debt ceiling could do serious damage to the U.S. economy.
The senators warned that interest rates could rise on everything from credit cards and home mortgages, to borrowing costs for businesses.
"This is a totally manufactured crisis," said Casey, referring to the many Republicans who are using the debt ceiling debate as a bargaining chip to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
President Obama is calling it irresponsible politics, and said he wants a bipartisan approach to solve the debt crisis.
"I am prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to deal with our long term entitlement issues," Obama said.
But Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed his concern over more potential budget cuts.
"We have made painful cuts. [The sequester] has cost, frankly, too many jobs," he said.
Brown said he wants to grow the economy by investing in infrastructure and education, but he will not vote for cuts to entitlement programs.
"The people in this town that want to cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid to pay for more tax cuts for the rich aren't spending any time in a union hall, in a senior center, aren't going to visit a school and see what the needs are there," Brown said.
The debt ceiling allows the government to borrow money so that it can pay bills it has already racked up. The Treasury Department is expected to exceed the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling in October.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Republicans are saying that the debt crisis can be resolved if the government makes more cuts to federal spending – to programs including Obamacare.
"This debt limit vote is a time to restrain spending," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). "The time for talk is over."
If this all sounds familiar – that's because it is – members of Congress had a similar debate back in 2011, when the scare of a debt ceiling default led a lower stock market and a downgrade in the nation's credit.
Salim Furth, a senior policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, said that it cannot happen again.
"It's unfortunate we need an alarm clock this loud to convince our politicians to do the right thing," Furth said. "But, my hope is they'll do the right thing before we get there and we won't have to deal with short-term measures."
However, the debt ceiling is not the only deadline approaching. The fiscal year ends September 30th, and the White House and Congress must agree to a new spending plan, or else they face a government shutdown.
Christmas is more than three weeks away, but in Washington DC holiday festivities kicked off tonight. 13abc's Washington Correspondent Lauren Adams was outside the Capitol for the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.More >>
Thursday, November 28 2013 5:12 PM EST2013-11-28 22:12:51 GMT
In case you haven't heard, Ann Arbor is hosting once of the world's most famous gridiron games this Saturday, but the Border Battle isn't limited to Michigan and Ohio. Ohio State and Michigan fans aroundMore >>
In case you haven't heard, Ann Arbor is hosting once of the world's most famous gridiron games this Saturday, but the Border Battle isn't limited to Michigan and Ohio.More >>
Monday, November 25 2013 7:06 PM EST2013-11-26 00:06:57 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (11/25/2013) – Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Capitol's Christmas tree arrived on the West Lawn of the Capitol building Monday.Harvested in Coleville National Forest inMore >>
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Capitol's Christmas tree arrived on the West Lawn of the Capitol building Monday.More >>
Saturday, November 23 2013 2:07 PM EST2013-11-23 19:07:09 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Obama's approval rating is at the lowest it has ever been and some recent polls say the Affordable Care Act is to blame. As the White House nears a self-imposed deadline toMore >>
Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro sat down with former presidential adviser David Gergen, where he told her he thinks the president lied to the American public.More >>
Thursday, November 14 2013 2:22 PM EST2013-11-14 19:22:46 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (11/14/2013) – It's big business. You might think you are getting a good deal, but really, you could be risking your life when you buy prescription drugs online. Studies show that oneMore >>
It's big business. You might think you are getting a good deal, but really, you could be risking your life when you buy prescription drugs online.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 5:35 PM EST2013-12-04 22:35:41 GMT
People are still picking up the pieces more than two weeks after an EF-2 tornado tore through part of Perrysburg Township. A number of homes and businesses were damaged. The heaviest damage is concentratedMore >>
People are still picking up the pieces more than two weeks after an EF-2 tornado tore through part of Perrysburg Township. A number of homes and businesses were damaged. The heaviest damage is concentrated at the corner of Oregon Road and Route 795. Many of you saw what the storm did to the Circle K gas station, but its destruction didn't stop there. Clean up work will go on for months at some of the businesses that were hit.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 5:33 PM EST2013-12-04 22:33:59 GMT
The couple convicted of killing a toddler remain at the Lucas County jail. Tonight Toledo police are revealing the facts that helped them solve the murder of baby Elaina. 13abc's Alexis Means has an insideMore >>
Jail administrators say it's possible Angela Steinfurth and her ex-boyfriend Steven King could be transported to prison on Thursday. They were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing Steinfurth's daughter Elaina. More >>
Changes could be coming to Toledo Express. A Toledo native and his family are interested in taking over operations of the Toledo Express Airport. The Toledo Blade’s Tom Troy joins us with information about the proposal.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 5:03 PM EST2013-12-04 22:03:04 GMT
One person was found dead inside a burning home in Sandusky Tuesday night. The flames broke out at the home in the 2200 block of Campbell Street around 8:30. Firefighters found the body inside. InvestigatorsMore >>
An 86-year old man is dead in Sandusky after being stabbed and having his house set on fire. The state is offering a $5,000 reward leading to information and an arrest in the case.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 4:57 PM EST2013-12-04 21:57:00 GMT
There are new details in the massive apartment complex evacuation in Toledo after a sprinkler break caused flooding. Half of the residents have been allowed to return home. The break happened late MondayMore >>
The management of Alpha Towers says the indoor sprinkler system has been fixed and tested.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 3:31 PM EST2013-12-04 20:31:12 GMT
On Tuesday the court handed down life sentences to Angela Steinfurth and Steven King for the death of Toledo toddler Elaina Steinfurth. The Lucas County prosecutor says Angela Steinfurth tossed ElainaMore >>
13abc's Kristian Brown spent some time at the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center. There is a Crying Baby Hotline you can call if you ever need help soothing a little one. There are also other techniques you can use to stay calm during the stressful situation.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 3:12 PM EST2013-12-04 20:12:00 GMT
Michigan State Police say a gunman confronted a woman and held a gun to her head as she walked into her apartment early Wednesday morning. It happened at the Cedar Creek apartment complex in FrenchtownMore >>
Michigan State Police say a gunman confronted a woman and held a gun to her head as she walked into her apartment early Wednesday morning. It happened at the Cedar Creek apartment complex in Frenchtown Township.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 12:38 PM EST2013-12-04 17:38:02 GMT
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - A prosecutor says the wife of a man charged with killing his father in southeastern Ohio has agreed to testify against her husband. The Athens County prosecutor says 37-year-oldMore >>
A prosecutor says the wife of a man charged with killing his father in southeastern Ohio has agreed to testify against her husband.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:47 PM EST2013-12-04 03:47:40 GMT
A woman is dead following an accident in Toledo. It happened just before 5:00 Tuesday evening in front of Whitmer High School on West Alexis Road. Toledo Police say 52-year-old Paula Hornsby was drivingMore >>
A woman is dead following an accident in Toledo. It happened just before 5:00 Tuesday evening in front of Whitmer High School on West Alexis Road.More >>