Is the government's historic deficit spending a fait accompli?
''Ahead of Nov. 5, many Republicans said they would want to secure reductions in federal spending in exchange for voting to raise the debt limit, now at $18.1 trillion. Treasury has used emergency measures to avoid breaching the debt cap since mid-March.
'For the debt-ceiling increase to get a sizable number of Republican votes, it will require spending reductions,' said Rep. Luke Messer (R., Ind.), a member of House GOP leadership.
But lawmakers said it would be very difficult to reach a long-term budget agreement in the next month. Congress this past week passed a stopgap spending bill that expires Dec. 11, but Republicans and
Democrats remain at odds over whether to set funding levels above limits established in a 2011 deficit-reduction deal.
President Barack Obama said Friday he wouldn't sign another short-term spending bill in December.
'Congress has to do its job,' he said. 'We can't flirt with another shutdown.'
Mr. Obama noted that raising the debt ceiling doesn't approve new government spending. Instead, it allows the government to borrow to pay debts it has already incurred.''
Lawmakers say it would be very difficult to reach a long-term budget agreement in the next month; Obama says no to another short-term spending bill in December . . .