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How? McConnell just announced he will not support raising the debt ceiling unless big Medicare cuts are part of the deal. Translation: Unless Democrats get us off the hook by agreeing to deep Medicare cuts (meaning Democrats can no longer attack Republicans for wanting to eliminate Medicare), then we're going to force the federal government into default on its debt.
What if McConnell extracted substantial other cuts from the White House to achieve the GOP's spending cuts goal? No matter, McConnell says. If Medicare cuts aren't part of the deal, then no dice on the debt ceiling -- U.S. economy and world financial system be damned.
It's as stark as that. And the decision for Democrats is equally stark: Do you negotiate with hostage-takers?
Brian Beutler has our full report.