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Congressional Insiders Expect Debt Limit Attachments

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The National Debt Clock on Sixth Avenue in New York City, February 15, 2000. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Republican Congressional Insiders simply don't see any way that they can pass a debt limit increase without these measures. "There is no way to get the support of our conference without them," said one GOP Congressional Insider. "Failing to act by coupling structural changes to the debt limit vote would be a missed opportunity," added another.

Democrats readily acknowledge that Republicans are going to insist on measures to restrain spending as the price for the increasing the debt limit. "Senior GOP House member have said the only way they'll vote to raise the ceiling is with caps and reforms, but it's not something the American people are behind," said one Democratic Congressional Insider.

And stung by what they see as almost a capitulation by President Obama in his negotiations with Republican House Speaker John Boehner over the continuing budget resolution, some Democrats are wary about the resolve of the White House to resist GOP demands. "Without a change in the current dynamic Boehner will essentially decide how much he can put on this thing and Obama will take it," observed a Democratic Insider.

But with the vote on the debt ceiling expected in May, some wonder whether that's too swift to get a consensus on complicated and far-reaching measures like entitlement reform and spending caps. "Republicans will attempt to attach conditions, but a fuller budget settlement will require a different process and more time," predicted one Democratic Insider.

The National Journal Congressional Insiders Poll is a regular survey of Democratic and Republican members of Congress.

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