COPY-Republicans plan healthcare repeal, budget cuts

WASHINGTON (NBC) - House Republicans said they'll vote to repeal the Obama administration's healthcare law shortly after the new session of Congress begins Wednesday.

"That will happen before the President's State of the Union address," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-MI.

Some Democrats believe such a move would increase the country's rising debt.

"Adding to the deficit by repealing healthcare reform or on the attempt is irresponsible," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-FL.

It's the deficit Democrats and Republicans will spar over next as the balance of power shifts to red.

The nation is inching closer to the $14.3 trillion "debt ceiling" set by law, which sets a cap on how much the government can borrow.

Congress can raise the limit, but will they?

"I'm not going to vote for a debt ceiling increase unless we go back to 2008 spending levels," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.

The new Republican chair of government reform thinks there's plenty to cut.

"$500 million here. $500 million there," said Rep. Darrell Issa of California. "That's a billion. $125 billion in Medicare."

Austan Goolsbee, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, said, "We are going to have to make in the medium run a series of tough choices, and the President's not afraid to do that."

If the government hits the debt ceiling, which some economists said could happen before June, there is a looming fear that the U.S. could default on its obligations, triggering a federal government shutdown.

"We are not look to shut the government down," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MI. "No one benefits."

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