Disaster averted? Republicans and Democrats are nearing a deal to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts. Republicans appear to have given up on the idea of overhauling Medicare after President Obama “excoriated us,” in the words of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). "We're not going to get a grand slam agreement,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). "My hope at this moment is to get a single or a double." A deal is likely to include cuts or mandated limits on government spending programs that must be approved each year; cuts or limits on mandatory spending including farm subsidies, student loans, and food stamps; automatic spending cuts and tax increases if Congress fails to act.