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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Geithner wants debt limit raised

 U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner formally requested that Congress raise the $12.1 trillion statutory debt limit on Friday, saying that it could be breached as early as mid-October.

"It is critically important that Congress act before the limit is reached so that citizens and investors here and around the world can remain confident that the United States will always meet its obligations," Geithner said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that was obtained by Reuters.

A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter.

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Threats, protests greet lawmakers at home

As they head home to their congressional districts for the August recess, lawmakers who support health care reform are bracing for protests and demonstrations that threaten to turn violent.

In North Carolina, a congressman who backs overhauling health care had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman’s office has fielded demanding town-hall meetings on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were "trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt."

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Florida Senator Mel Matinez resigns

Republican Sen. Mel Martinez announced Friday he would step down 16 months early, saying he was making good on a promise to voters that he wouldn’t stay just to keep the seat warm.

The move presents Gov. Charlie Crist with the challenge of selecting a solid replacement — almost certainly a fellow Republican — but somebody who will agree not to run for a full term in 2010 so Crist himself can win the seat.

Martinez, the only Hispanic Republican in the Senate, said he would serve until his replacement was named. Crist promised to try to make his selection before the Senate returns from its summer break after Labor Day.

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