Majority of GOP not worried about debt ceiling lapse

A new Pew Research Center poll shows a majority of Republicans and many independents are just fine with the idea of not raising the debt limit by the Treasury Department’s deadline of Oct. 17.

The poll shows 52 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of independents and 36 percent of Americans overall say the country can go past that deadline without major economic problems.

Overall concern is growing — albeit slightly.

Slightly more than half of Americans — 51 percent — say it is essential to raise the debt ceiling to avoid an economic crisis. That’s slightly more than the 47 percent of Americans who said the same last week.

There is a huge partisan split on this questions, with 37 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats in the new poll believing there would be an economic crisis.

The White House has warned of a default if the debt-ceiling deadline isn’t met, but some Republicans in Congress note that the government can still pay interest on its loans even if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by the deadline — something they argue wouldn't technically constitute a “default.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday labeled these members “default deniers.”

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