POLITICS

Debt crisis: Dems, GOP at odds as debt default risk looms

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"We think there are real problems with this plan," said Jordan. He argued that the spending cuts are insufficient and expressed opposition to likely tax increases.

In the Senate, Reid challenged Republicans to back his competing legislation, which would cut spending without raising taxes.

In his Monday night speech, Obama said the long and caustic fight was a "partisan three-ring circus." Boehner, borrowing the president's very words, said Obama "would not take yes for an answer."

The president and his Democratic allies have sought a plan that would to make deep cuts in government spending but would increase tax revenues by closing loopholes and ending the tax cuts for wealthy Americans instituted under former President George W. Bush.

Republicans, under the sway of their conservative tea party wing, refuse to consider higher taxes.

Obama's White House on Monday backed the new Senate Democratic plan even though it omitted Obama's requirement of increased tax revenues. It would raise the debt limit by the $2.4 trillion figure the White House wants and carry the country into 2013, beyond the next election. It calls for $2.7 trillion in federal spending cuts, but assumes $1 trillion of that would derive from the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After Monday's competing TV addresses, congressional officials said the House switchboard was near capacity with a high volume of calls and suggested using backup numbers. Websites also experienced heavy traffic and lawmakers were sending out appeals for patience.

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