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House Approves GOP Bill Extending Debt Limit

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ)—The House has voted on one plan regarding the debt crisis and raising the debt ceiling.

Mike Hellgren is following developments.

The Republican debt plan passed with 218 votes. However, President Barack Obama says he will veto it, and Democrats in the Senate say it does not have enough votes to pass there. So essentially, there is still no deal at this time.

Marylanders tell us, they’re fed up.

The frustration at the lack of a debt deal in Washington has spilled out onto streets across America.

“I think we should all be descending on them in Washington right now,” said one voter.

“This is our country after all.  It’s not just those politicians country,” said another.

Marylanders are sounding off.

“Now, it’s time for Americans to stand up for what they believe in.  I believe in a balanced budget.  You’ve got to balance your budget. I’ve got to balance mine,” said a Maryland woman. 

“It’s ridiculous.  It’s like kindergarten.  They just can’t agree on one thing,” said another.

But many worry the leaders on both sides aren’t listening.

“I’m independent, but I lean more toward being conservative, and I think the Republicans need to bend a little,” said a Maryland man.

“We’re the ones without the big bank account to back us up, but they’re going to do what they want,” said a Maryland woman.

With 1.6 Marylanders on Medicare and Medicaid, 850,000 on Social Security and thousands more part of the federal work force, the consequences locally could be dire.

“If the economy collapses as a result of this inaction on the part of the federal government, sure it’s going to impact the Baltimore County government,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “These people need to do the job that they were elected to do just like we’re doing here in Baltimore County.”

The message is clear, and Marylanders are mincing no words: Get this deal done.

“Could we be like Greece?  Could we be like Ireland?  What’s going to happen?  Nobody knows,” said one resident.

“Two and 2 is 4– not 4 trillion.  Come on people,” said one frustrated voter.

“Like everybody else, I’m tired of the gridlock, and nothing changing.  Ever, ” one Marylander said.

Republicans needed 216 votes for its plan to pass in the House. No Democrats or Independents voted for the current plan. Twenty Republicans also voted no.

Democrats say the current bill would wreak economic havoc because it would force lawmakers to vote on another extension of the debt ceiling early next year, in the heat of presidential and congressional campaigns. Senator Harry Reid has his own plan, which he says would extend the debt limit up to 2012.

Stay with WJZ for the latest on the debt ceiling negotiations. We’ll have the latest from Washington on Eyewitness News at 11 p.m.

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