STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's David Welna reports.
DAVID WELNA: The CBO also predicts this year's budget deficit will reach a record one-and-a- half trillion dollars. That's too much for Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe.
OLYMPIA SNOWE: So it's clear to me that we have reached that tipping point. And if we continue on this current trajectory of spending as indicated by CBO, spending will represent 45 percent of the gross domestic product, and our national debt, as a part of the GDP, will be 90 percent in just nine years.
WELNA: Congressional Republicans say the solution is to slash spending. But Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad warns that doing so could plunge a fragile recovery into a double-dip recession.
KENT CONRAD: We need another 18 months to two years before we start imposing the really tough medicine that is going to have to be imposed if we're going to deal with this long-term debt threat.
GONYEA: David Welna, NPR News, the Capitol.
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