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Crisis averted…but at what cost? President Obama signed the debt ceiling legislation into law this afternoon, after the Senate passed the measure 74 to 26. But what have we learned? That the Tea Party can bully both houses of Congress? What’s to stop Tea Partiers from doing it again? We’ll discuss with David Corn and Ron Reagan.

 

And as Congress heads home for August recess, we’re left wondering: How will voters greet their representatives after weeks of chaos and partisan bickering on the Hill? And what will Democrats tell constituents who think the party struck a bad deal? We’ll ask DCCC Chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who voted for the bill, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), who voted against it.

 

President Obama says this deal will make the economy stronger. But how does cutting government spending in austere times spark economic recovery? Won’t it just delay recovery further? We’ll talk with Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and CNBC’s Simon Hobbs about what the debt deal means for the job market, the stock market, and the rest of the world.

 

Plus: A new Quinnipiac poll shows President Obama’s approval numbers significantly slipping…bringing him to a tie with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Politico’s Ben Smith reports on Mitt Romney’s low-profile campaign style, calling it the “Mittness Protection Program,” and New York Magazine’s John Heilemann writes this week’s cover on the commonalities between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. They both join us tonight with the latest on the 2012 field. 

Coming up on Hardball...

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