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Jul 18, 2011 12:13 AM by Matt Stafford

Tea party debt plan takes center stage

WASHINGTON (AP) - The next step in the wrangling over how to increase the government borrowing authority is to let the tea party forces in the House try it their way.

A Republican plan known as "cut, cap and balance" is set for a House vote on Tuesday. It would allow a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit, but on the condition that more than $100 million is immediately cut from the next year's budget and Congress adopt a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

The approach is considered to have no chance of passing the Senate and reaching President Barack Obama's desk. A separate effort by Senate Republicans to adopt a balanced budget amendment also appears doomed to fail.

Meanwhile, a proposal by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remains alive in the background. It would give Obama the power to order a $2.5 trillion increase in the debt limit, enough to keep the government afloat until 2013 unless both House and Senate override him by veto-proof margins.

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