Debt-Ceiling Crisis: 27 Days Until D-Day And Stalemate Continues
Updated at 5:25 pm ET with President Obama's comments —
With the July 4 holiday behind us, it's now 27 days until D-day, with the "D" standing for default, which the Obama Administration assures us the federal government will do on its debts unless Congress increases the nation's $14.3 debt ceiling before then.
Where do things stand? Pretty much where they did before the holiday, except now there's even less time.
President Obama gave reporters a status report Tuesday afternoon, informing them that White House officials had talked with congressional leaders of both parties over the holiday weekend. He also said he invited the House and Senate leaders to the White House Thursday to try and make progress.
OBAMA: Over the July 4th weekend, my team and I had a series of
discussions with congressional leaders in both parties. We've made
progress, and I believe that greater progress is within sight. But I
don't want to fool anybody: We still have to work through some real differences.
Now, I've heard reports that there may be some in Congress who
want to do just enough to make sure that America avoids defaulting on our debt in the short term but then wants to kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem of our deficit.
I don't share that view. I don't think the American people here
sent us here to avoid tough problems. That's, in fact, what drives
them nuts about Washington, when both parties simply take the path of least resistance, and I don't want to do that here.
I believe that right now we've got a unique opportunity to do
something big, to tackle our deficit in a way that forces our
government to live within its means, that puts our economy on a
stronger footing for the future and still allows us to invest in that
Much attention is being given to comments on weekend news shows by Republican senators John McCain of Arizona and John Cornyn of Texas. Both lawmakers indicated that under certain conditions, they could support increasing revenue increases by reining in some tax breaks.
Meanwhile, fellow Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, a freshman from Wisconsin who was elected with Tea Party support, said Monday morning on CBS News' "The Early Show" that there is increasing Republican support in both the Senate and House to raise the debt ceiling.
But in return for that support, conservatives want an agreement that would cut and cap spending and clear the path for a balanced budget amendment.
Democrats, meanwhile, continue to insist that they have already offered sizable spending cuts, signaling their seriousness about reducing deficits and debt and want the GOP to accede to significant tax increases in return.
No talks between the White House and congressional Republicans have been announced in an attempt to break the stalemate.
The Senate is in session this week, embarrassed into not taking a scheduled recess after President Obama chided them into staying in Washington and working on a resolution to the debt-ceiling crisis.
But the first issue the Senate was scheduled to consider wasn't the debt ceiling but a Libya authorization resolution.
On the House side, The Hill examines an interesting aspect of the pressures on House Speaker John Boehner in his quest to get enough members of his GOP conference to support a debt-ceiling boost.
Redistricting means that some House Republicans who will find themselves running against other Republicans because of consolidated districts could make them reluctant to vote for raising the debt ceiling if an agreement doesn't reflect a hardline conservative fiscal agenda, like the aforementioned "cut, cap and spend" idea.
Otherwise, they could face a primary challenger from their right. It's just another part of the picture that makes the politics around the issue so complex.
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