Bedrock GOP principle dropped in debt ceiling vote

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WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly three years Republicans have demanded that increases in the debt ceiling be accompanied by spending cuts.

That demand abruptly vanished Tuesday, the victim of Republican disunity and a president determined not to bargain again.

In 2011, House Speaker John Boehner successfully insisted that an increase in the nation's borrowing limit had to be matched dollar for dollar with spending cuts. That steadfast stand brought President Barack Obama to the negotiating table and yielded more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction.

But there are limits to Republican power.

Boehner on Tuesday allowed the House to vote to extend the nation's borrowing authority for 13 months without spending conditions — an unequivocal victory for Obama.

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