With Republicans so divided on the debt-ceiling plan, the issue could be a major fault line in the 2012 presidential race. Only two contenders currently serve in Congress, but NPR took a look at how they all might vote on House Speaker John Boehner's bill:
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann
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Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, has long been a vocal opponent of raising the debt ceiling, accusing the administration of engaging in "scare tactics" and objecting to Boehner's plan because she believes it won't "reform spending."
In her own words: "The premise is wrong right now that both parties are engaging. They're beginning from the premise that we will increase the debt ceiling; that's the wrong premise." --July 26, Iowa
Texas Rep. Ron Paul
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Paul, also a hero to the Tea Party wing of his party, was once the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee. He has previously authored legislation to abolish the income tax and the Federal Reserve.
In his own words: "I'm not going to vote to raise the debt limit. I'm an easy 'no' on this. I think both sides are failing to understand that the country is bankrupt and there will be a default. The only debate that is going on is how you default. I vote for stopping the spending so we don't have to print all the money." --July 27, Fox News
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
A fiscal and social conservative, Santorum told the Wall Street Journal that Republicans should accept raising the debt in exchange for spending cuts and passage of a balanced budget amendment, not currently included in Boehner's plan.
In his own words: "That would be a way to get Republicans to support an increase in the debt ceiling without having to have a big, huge deal that's going to be painful for everyone." --July 11, Wall Street Journal
Former Godfather's Pizza Chairman Herman Cain
Another candidate who is a favorite of Tea Party Republicans, Cain has long been on the same page as Bachmann when it comes to the debt ceiling. But he has resisted Tea Party calls for Boehner's ouster, and accuses Democrats of exaggerating the risk of default.
In his own words: "These are scare tactics, when they say they have to raise it or old people, children or puppy dogs will be hurt. That is just scaring people." --July 27, Washington
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Pawlenty, in a battle with Bachmann for the affections of Iowans, told an afternoon crowd in Iowa that he needed to know more about Boehner's plan before committing. By that evening, he announced his opposition.
In his own words: "The debt limit is a line in the sand where Republicans can force the tough decisions to fix our nation's finances, and taxpayers cannot afford for us to back down now. I am for the plan that will cut spending, cap it and pass a balanced-budget amendment, but unfortunately this latest bill does not accomplish that." --July 26, campaign statement