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Budget debt limit talks get dead serious

Monday - 6/20/2011, 6:24pm  ET

Dave McConnell, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Lifting the lid on how much Uncle Sam can borrow, and agreeing on how to cut $2 trillion in the current budget -- sounds like an impossible dream at this point.

Republicans won't talk about including tax increases, while Democrats insist Medicare changes are off the table.

There is hope: Senate Republicans joined Democrats in cutting a subsidy for ethanol producers, despite charges from anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist this was a tax increase.

It will take more than hopeful signs to strike a budget\debt limit deal by the August deadline, but hopes still remain high all will turn out well.

In the meantime, House Republicans are threatening to cut off funding for the Libyan conflict, saying President Obama hasn't told Congress convincingly why the U.S. is engaged in the removal of Libyan leader Muammar Khadaffi.

As costs grow, and the likelihood of U.S. casualties increases, a mix of Tea Party Republicans and liberal Democrats appear to be gaining support from the general rank-and-file on both sides.

This week could see one of those great, but rare moments when lawmakers spark a truly historic debate.

And the hottest tickets in town will get you into the House gallery -- call your member for seats!

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)