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Debt Ceiling Talks Continue Between Democrats And Republicans

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Lawmakers have not reached a deal on the debt ceiling yet.
Stephanie Kaye
Lawmakers have not reached a deal on the debt ceiling yet.

A default could hit everyone's pocketbooks, but Virginia and Maryland have been threatened with a downgrade of their bond ratings if the government defaults. That has officials in the region especially tuned in to this debate.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) accuses Republicans of rejecting trillions of dollars in spending cuts.

"It's hard to know where to go from here because they keep moving the goal post," says Van Hollen.

As a part of a deal, Republicans are now pushing for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget annually. That idea is a nonstarter with many Democrats, but Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) says it’s an idea that makes sense.

"Why wouldn’t we want to spend what we take in," he says.

The House isn't expected to take any more votes this weekend after rejecting a Senate proposal to raise the debt ceiling.

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Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

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