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Houston Matters for Thurs., Oct. 10, 2013

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning lawmakers that unless Congress raises the debt ceiling by next Thursday, he cannot promise any payments to anyone, including social security recipients and U.S. bondholders. What was once seen by many as a rubber stamp vote in Congress has become a line in the sand for some Tea Party-backed Congressional […]

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning lawmakers that unless Congress raises the debt ceiling by next Thursday, he cannot promise any payments to anyone, including social security recipients and U.S. bondholders.

What was once seen by many as a rubber stamp vote in Congress has become a line in the sand for some Tea Party-backed Congressional conservatives – the same folks behind the strategy of shutting down the federal government until the Affordable Care Act is defunded.

As lawmakers on both sides and the Obama administration posture, and some work behind the scenes to find a face-saving way out of this mess, economists are warning letting the federal government default on its debt could be catastrophic.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore precisely how such Congressional inaction could impact us here in Houston, from Houstonians relying on federal programs, to efforts to secure loans, to investments, and beyond.

Also, we talk with HISD’s school board president about a proposed property tax increase to support education – if approved, it would be the first such tax hike in 12 years.

Plus, we learn about a new art project transforming an historic Houston clock tower.

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