Remember the "fiscal cliff" – that Armageddon of spending cuts and tax hikes that threatened the send the US economy back to the age of stone tools and woolly mammoth pelts? Well, if Washington is to be believed, that was just a warmup act.
The latest word from inside the Beltway is that Republicans are girding themselves for a fight on what might be called the Fiery Chasm of Fiscal Doom:
- America will bump up against the debt ceiling, which allows the federal government to borrow more money, next month.
- The "sequester" spending cuts to defense and domestic spending outlined in the 2011 debt-ceiling deal – and postponed by the fiscal cliff deal – come due on Feb. 28.
- The stopgap bill that allows the federal government to function despite still not having a 2013 budget expires March 27.
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