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The U.S. Debt Ceiling debate by Mind Map: The U.S. Debt Ceiling debate
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The U.S. Debt Ceiling debate

Nov. 2, 2010

The Republican party assumes the majority control of the House of Representatives

Promise to scale back government spending and tackle budget deficits

Debts hover at their highest levels (relative to the economy) since World War II

Dec. 1, 2010

A bipartisan deficit reduction panel presents their findings and recommend $3 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in revenue increases

revenue increases are primarily driven by closing U.S. Tax law loopholes

Recommendations to be spread over 10 years

January 2011

The current "Gang of Six" begin talks on a long-term deficit-reduction deal that would appeal to both parties

Republicans, Saxby Chambliss, Georgia, Mike Crapo, Idaho, Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

Democrats, Mark Warner, Virginia, Dick Durbin, Illinois, Kent Conrad, North Dakota

Feb. 19, 2011

The House of Representatives pass a budget for the current fiscal year

The budget would cut $61 billion from the previous year's levels

One month later, the budget is defeated by the Democrat led Senate

April 9, 2011

The U.S. government teeters on a full shutdown

President Obama and congressional leaders agree on a budget that will cut $38 billion from last year's levels

This spending reduction actually causes $3.2 billion more to be spent in the short term.

April 13, 2011

After initial critique, President Obama rolls out an additional spending cut program that would save $4 trillion over 12 years

President Obama appoints Vice President Joe Biden to lead deficit reduction discussions

April 15, 2011

The House of Representatives pass a budget that will cut spending by $6 trillion over 10 years

Savings are driven in part on cutbacks to programs for the elderly and poor

Social Security


May 5, 2011

Vice President Biden and representatives from both political parties hold their first meeting to discuss deficit reduction

Republican leaders indicate that there will most probably be no agreement on tax reform and healthcare

May 9, 2011

Speaker of the House, John Boehner stats that any increase in the debt ceiling must be matched by an equal amount of spending cuts

The U.S. Department of the Treasury estimates that it will need $2 trillion to cover borrowing through the November 2012 elections

May 11, 2011

House Republicans present their spending outline for the coming year that sees cuts to programs in:




May 16, 2011

The Government of The United States reaches it's $14.3 trillion debt limit

The U.S. Department of the Treasury begins accessing "other" resources to cover it's debts

May 17, 2011

Republican Senator Tom Coburn departs the "Gang of Six" over an impasse regarding healthcare

May 31, 2011

The House of Representatives refuse to raise the debt ceiling

Republicans stage the vote to pressure President Obama to agree to further spending cuts

Democrats point to the vote as nothing more than a political stunt

however, 82 Democratic lawmakers join Republicans in defeating the bill

June 9, 2011

Sixth meeting of the "Biden Group"

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner states that tax increases must be part of the overall solution

Republicans appear unmoved

June 14, 2011

34 Senate Republicans repeal tax breaks on Ethanol

This move provides hope to Democrats, indicating that Republicans are willing to budge on their "No Tax Increase" stance

June 23, 2011

Republicans call an impasse at the Biden talks

Republicans point to Democrats insistance of approx. $400 billion in new revenue by closing tax breaks for the wealthy and businesses

June 29, 2011

The IMF makes a statement that the U.S. Government must lift it's debt ceiling in order to avoid a "severe shock" to global markets, as well as the fragile U.S. economy

President Obama calls for increased efforts to spur job growth, as well as increasing taxes for wealthy Americans

Republicans remains focused on deficit reduction

June 30, 2011

Democrats introduce a scaled-back deal that would avoid default

This deal would also force Congress to revisit the debt ceiling issue before the 2012 elections

The White House rejects this proposal

July 3, 2011

Obama and Boehner secretly meet to discuss the "grand bargain"

the deal would save $4 trillion over 10 years

through changes to the current tax code

as well as changes to popular benefits programs

July 5, 2011

Obama brings top leaders to the table to reopen negotiations

Obama seeks to have a deal in place by July 22nd

July 6, 2011

Reuters reports that a small group of U.S. Treasury Department officials are meeting to discuss options to hold off defaulting, should Congress fail to agree on a raising of the debt ceiling

The White House continues to state that there is no "Plan B" in place

July 7, 2011

Obama says that Republicans and Democrats are still far deeply divided on a number of issues

but that all agreed to raise the debt ceiling

July 8, 2011

A scathing jobs report refocuses attention on the U.S. economy

Obama says that debt ceiling talks contribute to uncertainty in the market

July 9 , 2011

Boehner calls the "grand bargain" dead

Republicans will not agree to tax increases demanded by Democrats

calls for a $2 trillion package that would rely mostly on spending cuts

July 10, 2011

Obama and congressional leaders go head to head in a "heated" debate

No progress other than both parties agreeing that they need to meet again the next day

July 11, 2011

Obama pressures both Republicans and Democrats to make concessions and come to a deal

July 12, 2011

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell introduces a bill to avoid default should congress fail to agree on a debt reduction plan

Obama warns that if an agreement is not reached soon, the American public could stop receiving benefits on August 2nd

July 13, 2011

Moody's investor services puts the United States on review to be downgraded based on the lack of a debt ceiling increase

Obama meets with lawmakers for over 2 hours

No agreement is reached

July 14, 2011

Standard & Poor says that there's a 1-in-2 chance that they will downgrade the U.S.'s AAA rating if a stalemate continues

Obama calls "time", and gives lawmakers 24-36 hours to propose a solution to the deadlock

July 17, 2011

Senator McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid work on McConnell's original proposal to allow the President to raise the debt ceiling

Obama meets with Boehner and his deputy Eric Cantor

no progress is made

July 18, 2011

Republicans introduce a measure that would cut and cap government spending

and require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget

Obama states that he will veto any such measure

July 19, 2011

The "Gang of Six" proposes a new deficit reduction plan

$3.75 trillion in savings over 10 years

$1.2 trillion in new revenues

Obama urges Congress to start "Talking Turkey"

House Republicans pass a $5.8 trillion deficit-reduction plan with a balanced budget amendment

July 20, 2011

The White House indicates that Obama would be willing to approve a very short-term debt limit extension beyond Aug. 2

Obama holds two separate meetings with top lawmakers



July 21, 2011

Reports surface that Obama and Boehner discuss a $3 trillion deficit-cutting deal

Obama holds his ground on revenue increases via taxation

meets with Democratic Congressional leaders