A slim majority of Americans support a debt ceiling increase with deep spending cuts, new poll shows
While there is broad agreement that failure to increase the debt ceiling would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy, only a narrow majority supported an increase that included deep spending cuts, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Thursday.
Just 51% of respondents backed a hike in the $14.29-trillion debt ceiling if it was paired with the budget cuts, while 44% opposed such an increase, the poll found. Of those in opposition, 23% said it was because they simply did not want to raise the debt limit, 15% said it was because they opposed accompanying it with deep spending cuts, and about 7% said they had a problem with both.
The U.S. technically reached its debt limit on May 16, but the government has been juggling some of its finances to push forward the real cutoff date. Treasury officials reiterated last week that it would start defaulting on some of its obligations on Aug. 2 if the debt ceiling was not raised.
The Obama administration is trying to negotiate a debt-ceiling hike with congressional Republican leaders, who are demanding deep spending cuts in exchange.
The continued political wrangling led credit rating firm Moody's Investor Services to warn last week that it could downgrade the nation's AAA credit rating if a deal is not struck by mid-July. Fitch Ratings issued a similar warning Wednesday.
-- Jim Puzzanghera
Photo: The U.S. Treasury building. Credit: Getty Images