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      Valley residents react to debt ceiling crisis

      San Benito resident and attorney Cindy Garcia said she's confident there will be a compromise in Washington, but thinks both parties are holding out due to special interest.

      The federal budget showdown continues in Washington without a resolution.

      Meanwhile, here in the Rio Grande Valley, voters are frustrated with their elected leaders.

      Kathy Cooper of Harlingen said both Democrats and Republicans need to give, before the United States defaults on its more than $3 trillion debt.

      "I think it's very disheartening to think we sent these people to do a job, and handle our money and the budget, Cooper said, and they're incapable of doing such a thing."

      U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15), said if the parties don TMt reach an agreement by August 2nd, the country will default with it's many creditors like China, Italy, France and other European nations.

      He said low-income and middle class families will be the ones most affected.

      "Mortgage payments will increase by over $1,000 for the average family (and) credit card interest would increase by $250, Hinojosa said. Families would pay an additional $182 per year on utilities; $318 on food; and $100 more on gasoline."

      Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), said Republicans and Democrats had agreed on three major issues that were: cutting $1.2 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, no tax increase and establishing a joint committee to examine ways to cut future spending.

      However, Cuellar said, Republicans backed-off.

      "You know this thing about a ~blank check TM is not correct at all, Cuellar said. The debt ceiling is what's been spent already - it has nothing to do with what we do in the future. I agree we have to cut and I TMm ready to do some very tough cuts, except I don TMt want to cut Medicare and Social Security like the Republicans want to do."

      San Benito resident and attorney Cindy Garcia said she's confident there will be a compromise in Washington, but thinks both parties are holding out due to special interest.

      "We need to look at the best interest of (the) constituents - not withstanding whatever the special interest may have been supporting (law-makers) in the past because we need to look out for the common good and that's what they are there for," Garcia said.

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