Conservatives squeeze Boehner on debt limit hike

By Andrew Taylor

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, July 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. speaks with reporters about the conflicting plans to deal with the debt crisis, Tuesday, July 26, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Neither the House nor the Senate has a clear path forward for must-pass legislation to allow the government to continue to borrow to pay its bills, putting lawmakers and financial markets alike on edge less than a week before the deadline for heading off a first-ever U.S. default.

The pressure is on House Speaker John Boehner, who's being forced to rewrite his debt and budget plan after nonpartisan congressional scorekeepers said it wouldn't reap the savings he's promised.

The Ohio Republican also needs to shore up his standing with tea party-backed conservatives demanding deeper spending cuts to accompany an almost $1 trillion increase in the government's borrowing cap.

Unless he can regain control, Boehner risks losing leverage in his dealing with President Barack Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate.

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