Swimming against the current, Washington's outgunned deficit hawks press ahead

The Associated Press

Former President Bill Clinton answers questions from Gwen Ifill of PBS NewsHour at the 2014 Fiscal Summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Lawmakers and policy experts discussed America's long term debt and economic future. (AP Photo)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington's outgunned deficits hawks are holding their annual pep rally, but this year's gathering comes as lawmakers and the White House have given up any pretense of tackling the country's budget woes in the run-up to November's midterm elections.

The annual "fiscal summit" was held just blocks from the Capitol, where the Senate was debating a measure extending tax breaks for a variety of special interests for another two years, adding $85 billion to the nation's debt.

This year's summit also is happening as Democrats and Republicans are taking a break from battling over the budget after a tumultuous 2013. Last fall's government shutdown and subsequent small-scale budget deal and increase in the debt limit have combined to take away any pressure for a budget deal this year.

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