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Battle Lines Harden in the Game of Debt Limit Chicken

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Boehner is sticking to his 2011 rule that every dollar in debt ceiling increase be matched by a dollar of “spending cuts and reforms.”

Rank-and-file members are largely on board with where leadership is taking them, even if they were less than pleased with the tax deal that helped avert, at least partially, the fiscal cliff Congress created. Though many voted for the Jan. 1 deal, their “yes” votes will come much less easily on the debt limit, which many of them do not feel obligated to extend.

“[Obama] says he won’t negotiate to raise the so-called debt ceiling ... I have a message for him: That’s not going to happen,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, wrote in an op-ed Monday. “If he thinks I’m going to agree to more revenue so he doesn’t have to cut spending, he’s got another thing coming.”

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