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As the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling draws closer, there's more talk about the dire economic consequences that will ensue if policy makers in Washington fail to reach an agreement on a budget plan. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says that a bipartisan agreement is not likely to happen, and has proposed a plan in which the president could increase the federal debt limit without Congressional approval.

Is McConnell's proposal a sign of Washington dysfunction or a brilliant negotiating move? Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich has the latest on McConnell's plan, and the conservative reaction to it. Steve Smith, professor of political science at Washington University, discusses the government's history of dysfunction when passing spending bills.