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Congressional Insiders Poll: Which Party Would Pay if Debt-Ceiling Deal Isn't Reached? Congressional Insiders Poll: Which Party Would Pay if Debt-Ceiling Dea...

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Magazine / Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll: Which Party Would Pay if Debt-Ceiling Deal Isn't Reached?

Plus: What Would Be the Economic Consequences?

July 14, 2011

Which party has more to lose politically if Congress doesn’t reach a debt-ceiling deal by August 2?

Democrats (31 votes)

Democrats: 7%
Republicans: 84%
Both (volunteered): 10%



 “They are risking catastrophe for the world economy over tax cuts for Bill Gates’s corporate jets.”

“Republicans’ unwillingness to participate in the give-and-take of governing to do what’s right is showing through, and they will face the brunt of the public’s wrath if a deal isn’t reached in time.”

“Their stubborn commitment to fighting for billionaires who aren’t doing anything to create jobs, while proposing the poor and middle-class bear the brunt of their cuts, will long be remembered by the American people.”

“They are the majority in the House, they dominate the discussion in the Senate, and they have positioned themselves as the most uncompromising—and they seem to enjoy that position.”

“Because Obama has made clear that he would ‘go big,’ and Republicans are willing to sacrifice the economy to protect the rich.”

“Republicans want to increase co-pays for home health care patients but refuse a single penny of increased taxes for millionaires? I’ll take that fight.”

“They’ll also have to explain why they voted seven times to raise it under George W. Bush and why they allowed the U.S. to default. They will own this mess.”

“Obama is a lousy negotiator, but Republicans can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”


 “Who could possibly win in the deluge to follow?”

“Both parties will suffer. The public will not be happy.”


Which party has more to lose politically if Congress doesn’t reach a debt-ceiling deal by August 2?

Republicans (34 votes)

Democrats: 61%
Republicans: 24%
Both (volunteered): 12%
Unclear (volunteered): 3%


“They own the economy.”

“House Republicans have led time and time again by putting their ideas forward in their budget. Where is the president’s plan? Where is the congressional Democrats’ plan?”

“It’s the president’s economy, plus the public wants budget cuts.”

“The statistics are consistent that roughly two-thirds of Americans don’t think the debt ceiling should be raised at all. So, GOP opposition to raising the debt ceiling without strict conditions is aligned with the will of the American people.”

“Truman kept ‘the buck stops here’ sign in the Oval Office—not in the House of Representatives.”

“The president spent the money; this is the Obama economy. With the Obama-nomics of the stimulus bill, he owns this problem.”

“The party of the president will get the credit and the blame.”


“Independents will begin to wonder if Republicans can govern.”

“We just don’t have the same media platform to place the blame that the president has.”

“No matter what, we have to raise the ceiling. And if we only listen to the extreme of our party, we lose independents and mainstream R’s.”


“It shows Washington is dysfunctional to a level impossible to comprehend.”

“Our entire country has something to lose if we don’t reach an agreement.”

“Congress will have reduced the nest eggs of retirees, hurt working Americans who invested in their retirements, and diminished future benefits for Medicare and Social Security participants. None of those groups resides solely within one party.”

Unclear (volunteered)

“Seniors not getting their checks will blame whomever they view as being less reasonable.”


If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by early August, what do you think will be the economic consequences?

Democrats (31 votes)

Catastrophic: 61%
Major: 36%
Minor: 3%
No impact: 0%


“Cannot be overstated: Standard & Poors has already said it will downgrade bonds to ‘D.’ ”

“Some economists have said that it could be worse than the day Lehman Brothers went under; and the long-term ramifications of defaulting on our debts will likely be irreversible in the global market.”

“We defaulted for a few hours in ’79, and it almost pushed a sagging economy into chaos.”

“The jolt in our country and throughout the world will be horrible.”


“For a few weeks, then catastrophic.”

“We will have immediate reactions like the response to first TARP-vote failure, followed by long-term increased costs and decreased economic activity.”

“But [then] catastrophic if the ‘major’ economic consequences don’t scare members into moving quickly to fix the problem.”


“Wall Street wants to sell more bonds and earn the fees: They won’t let the publicity jeopardize their self-dealing interests.”


If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by early August, what do you think will be the economic consequences?

Republicans (34 votes)

Catastrophic: 15%
Major: 44%
Minor: 29%
No impact: 0%
Other (volunteered): 12%


“It will be somewhere in between the [Michele] Bachmann prophecy on the right and the Obama scare tactics from the left.”

“If it wasn’t this serious, we would have had a deal by now. The U.S. triple-A credit rating is the world’s gold standard—no one can afford to treat this lightly.”


“The ceiling will have to be raised, hopefully without spending cuts and no tax hikes.”

“Although there are so many variables that it is impossible to predict. But it’s sure to be very bad.”

“I say this because Wall Street and the markets tend to overreact to everything. I think the market takes a huge one-day nosedive, just like [after] the first TARP vote that failed.”

“It will be bad, but raising taxes and killing jobs or ignoring our spending problem would be bad, too.”

“There will definitely be an impact for the market nationally and internationally.”


“If the deal is inked but not passed yet, the market barely ripples. If the White House and GOP are still 100 miles apart, it could be major.”


“We cannot continue to kick the can down the road.”

“Confident we’ll reach an agreement.”

“In Washington and on Wall Street, the consequences will be catastrophic. On Main Street USA, the consequences will be minor.”


Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Mark Warner; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly , Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, Pete Stark, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, Charlie Dent, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Darrell Issa, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Pete Sessions, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson. 

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