Cliffhanger

February 12, 2013

As the nation faces yet another round of fiscal crises, FRONTLINE investigates the inside history of how Washington has failed to solve the country’s problems of debt and deficit.

(53:44) FRONTLINE investigates Washington's failure to solve the country's debt and deficit problems.
THE LATEST

It’s Not Over Yet: More Looming Debt Crisis Deadlines

Congress faces two deadlines with long-term repercussions in the next few weeks — and another debt-ceiling time bomb in the coming months.

Can Washington Make a Debt Deal? Live Chat Today at 2pm ET

Join a live chat on “Cliffhanger” with the film’s producers and reporters from “The Washington Post.” You can leave a question now.

The GOP Freshmen of 2010: “Spear Carriers” with a Mission

The 87 Republicans that propelled the GOP into the House majority in 2010 shifted not only the debate over spending, but the dynamics of Washington altogether.

The FRONTLINE Interview: William Daley

Obama’s former chief of staff on the difficulties of negotiating with a split GOP.

Lori Montgomery: “The Next Fight Is Going to Be Far Uglier”

Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery discusses the long path of gridlock and how the debt and deficit showdown has hurt both sides. “Two years of fighting has not been good for anybody,” she tells FRONTLINE.

Frank Luntz: How the “21st-Century Republicans” Changed Washington

GOP insider Frank Luntz reflects on the new face of the Republican Party, the strengths and weaknesses of the president and what he sees as the dismal prospects for the nation to come together. “We can’t agree on anything,” he tells FRONTLINE.

Meet the GOP’s “Young Guns”

Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan, three young House Republicans, had a plan to move the party away from the dusty establishment and into the 21st century.

Did Obama “Poison the Well” in the Deficit Debate?

After Republicans rallied around an austere budget proposed by the party’s numbers wunderkind Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, President Obama delivered a speech condemning the plan. What he didn’t realize, his aides insist, was that Ryan was sitting in the front row.

From the Serenity Prayer to F-Bomb: Boehner and the Fiscal Cliff

On one of the biggest nights of his political career, House Speaker John Boehner didn’t have the votes he needed from his own party. So he gathered House Republicans in a closed-door meeting and led a prayer.

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