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Senate to work next week on debt limit impasse

Harry Reid announced the scheduling change

By Jim Kuhnhenn

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, June 30 2011 9:40 a.m. MDT

"There's very little debate that that's going to change," he told NBC's "Today" show. Plouffe added, "We're in a danger zone now."

Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager when he ran for president in 2008, said he believes Democrats and Republicans alike are going to have to "get out of their comfort zone" to reach an agreement that would increase the government's borrowing authority and avert a default on the federal debt.

The Obama administration is warning that if the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2, the U.S. would face its first default in history, potentially throwing world financial markets into turmoil. Many congressional Republicans aren't convinced, and some administration officials worry that it could take a financial plunge before Congress acts.

The pending debt ceiling vote would have to raise the current borrowing limit of $14.3 trillion by about $2.4 trillion to last until the end of 2012.

At his news conference, Obama took issue with criticism that he has not pushed for an agreement. He argued that he has spent an hour to an hour-and-a-half each with Republican senators, Democratic senators and House members from both parties.

"I've met with the leaders multiple times," he continued. "At a certain point, they need to do their job."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, replied that an increase in the debt ceiling will pass only if the White House agrees to spending cuts in excess of the debt limit increase, holds down future spending and raises no taxes.

"The longer the president denies these realities," Boehner said, "the more difficult he makes this process."

AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller contributed to this report.

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