Debt Ceiling Looming, Senate Leaders Eye Agreement

Reid and McConnell making progress toward a deal to end shutdown and lift debt ceiling

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Washington seemed closer to resolving its bitter impasse over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling on Monday, as top Senators looked to broker a deal, while President Barack Obama scheduled and then postponed a meeting with Hill leaders to give them more time to talk.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell both said things were looking brighter, and sources said Reid privately made an offer to McConnell that would raise the debt limit and reopen the government, though the details of that offer remain murky.

“We have had an opportunity over the last couple of days to have some very constructive exchanges of views about how to move forward,” McConnell, the top Senate Republican, said on the House floor. “Those discussions continue, and I share [the] optimism that we’re going to get a result that will be acceptable to both sides.”

Reid agreed that “constructive, good faith negotiations” are under way.

“I’m very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that’s reasonable in nature this week to reopen the government, pay the nation’s bills and begin long-term negotiations to put our country on sound fiscal footing,” Reid said.

Negotiations shifted to the Senate after talks between Obama and House Republicans failed to yield an agreement last week.

Earlier in the day, a White House official said Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Reid, McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi would meet at 3 p.m. in the Oval Office. That meeting was postponed “to allow leaders in the Senate time to continue making important progress,” the White House said.

“With only a few days until the government runs out of borrowing authority, the President will make clear the need for Congress to act to pay our bills, and reopen the government,” a White House official said of the meeting before it was postponed. “The President will also reiterate our principles to the leaders: we will not pay a ransom for Congress reopening the government and raising the debt limit. The President continues to urge Congress to pass a bill that raises the debt ceiling and lends the certainty our businesses and the economy needs.”

Biden’s potential return to the talks after a weekend vacation at Camp David may be an indication that his assistance — and his warmer relationship with top Republicans — will be needed to close a deal.

Obama also took an unannounced trip Monday to a Washington, D.C., charity, Martha’s Table, where he thanked federal workers who were volunteering while they are furloughed because of the shutdown. Obama told reporters that there has been “some progress on the Senate side with Republicans recognizing it’s not tenable, it’s not smart, it’s not good for the American people to let America default.”

“There has been some progress in recognizing we’re not going to be able to completely bridge the differences between the parties all at once,” he added.

70 comments
livewithinyourmeans
livewithinyourmeans

What can I say, my name says it all.  You know life is not all free and clear and life brings tough choices that people just do not want to make. They will come sooner then never and no one likes it to happen on their watch, so I say to the democrats who think being popular is more important then being responsible, stop blaming and do your jobs that it seems you have failed to do in 2 terms

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Just think if it wasn't for the GOP holding our country hostage in 2011 and again now and forcing massive layoffs of public sector employees we would be at 5.5% unemployment. Of course the GOP can't have that since than they couldn't continue their treasonous war against the president elected by the will of the majority.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

The GOP disdains science, women, minorities and gays. How can our country move forward and succeed in the 21st Century with ideas that were already obsolete in the mid 20th?

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

Progress.  I can only hope.  Two key parts to this latest round of negotiations;

1)  “I’m very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that’s reasonable in nature this week to reopen the government, pay the nation’s bills and begin long-term negotiations to put our country on sound fiscal footing,” Reid said.

This is actually the more important aspect of these negotiations that have resulted in a kicked can for the past several years. We simply cannot continue doing this.  The confrontations generated in D.C. as a result erode confidence in our process, our leaders, our political system and our nation.  They kick the can and we brace ourselves for another round of BS.

2)  SOMEhow Reid and McConnell will have to convince Boehner and the rest of the House to go along with the plan. Time has run out.  They have lost....again....to defund and repeal Obamacare.  Time to move on and set their sights on the long term negotiations. 

Kalyan
Kalyan

What emerges from the last few weeks' political drama is an economic nightmare - that US must borrow with printed money to stay afloat. The untold part it is that they would borrow more to pay back and no one has any clue how this cycle would end.

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

 Interesting that the Senate, who caused this problem to START with, is making great strides towards repairing the problem.  It's also interesting that they are doing so without the help of the House of Representatives.


This country is doomed.

gator1989
gator1989

Personally I think all congress can do is postpone the inevitable. We will default no matter how you look at it. It may be immediately or it may be in a few months. I would just let it go through and suffer the consequences while thinking of a brand new plan for the economy in the next year even if it means making alterations to our current currency.

zippy-the-wonder-slug
zippy-the-wonder-slug

the only thing more moronic than watching these bankster's lapdogs quibble for show are all the idiots buying into the false left vs. right paradigm.

SimonCollinge
SimonCollinge

So the media tell us that the Federal employees will be getting back dated pay when furloughed.

Tell that to the Customs and Border people at Boston Logan on Saturday Night who were working unpaid with  500 foot yard of people behind us

marycunningam
marycunningam

JC (yes the real one). I live in Canada and I'm sorry to hear that this Cruz guy was born in Canada but has anyone asked why? When he was born here his hospital and medical bills were all covered.Do you think his parents didn't know that? Just asking.

aztecian
aztecian

the party of the god fearing whiteman needs to go and retire to a trailer park in florida (hurricanes are their friends).  it is time for the rest of the real change to take place, as it will happen without the obstructionist.

j45ashton
j45ashton

Time for the Republican National Committee to have a talk with John Boehner.  If they think he's hurting the brand, they should tell him to get off it or they won't support his bid for re-election.  Apparently the only way to get to Boehner is to threaten his job.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both said things were looking brighter...

So? Unless McConnell has somehow hypnotized Boehner and Cantor into following his lead, it's another pointless Senate exercise, isn't it?

Any deal that doesn't let the House Teabagger contingent (and their enablers, like Boehner) save the needed face with their fringe right-wing constituents is DOA. The primary process is keeping these GOPer pols on a tight leash, and anyone not toeing these extremists' line is in for a fight come election time.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Screened , @littleredtop

Whine all you fjarking want.  Looks like Teh Black Muslim Empty Suit Commie Socialist Kenyan Incompetent Community Organizer is about to put the whooparse on ya.

It sucks to force the GOP to surrender like that, but hey, at least I'm enjoying the view.  I'll even let you have some of my popcorn!

ColdAir
ColdAir

Check out the Drudge Report -- no obnoxious poetry.  See what's really going on.  This is the Democratic National Enquirer.  ARTaveler  the hatred is alive and obvious from you.  Hypocrite lemming.

UnniN
UnniN

Republicans - arrogant, vain and  unfeeling,

Are delighted the Government is reeling

But blinkered are their eyes

And they little realise

All they're doing is spit on the ceiling!



ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Does anyone really think that Orangeman can actually get a vote out of the 3rd grade bullies of the Tea Party in his House?  So much hatred for reasons that exist only in their tiny, tiny minds.  When you live in the FAUX bubble and listen only to fellow idiots, you begin to think everyone is an idiotic as you are.  Guess what, idots, most of the world is sane but maybe you need to see a shrink!

littleredtop
littleredtop

The President has made it clear once again that there will be NO negotiations.  Why even have these meetings?  All he has to do is agree to end the ACA or postpone it for a couple of years and all will be well.  He's so animate about his fake health care program not because of concern over the well being of all Americans but because of all the other nonsense that his administration incorporated into that bill -- like a dozen or more new taxes many unrelated to healthcare.  Actually, the ACA doesn't really deal with healthcare either, only insurance and taxes. 

notsacredh
notsacredh

@outsider, because the people that make up the red state voters are low-information, science denying cretins that look at technology as magic? 

ahandout
ahandout

@Kalyan You don't know the half of it.  How much has the Fed printed?  How much has been sent to European re-insurers?  $Trillions.  Much, much more than this administration has told you. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@MatthewHudson Its even more interesting that at the last minute the GOP in the House changed procedural rules to keep anyone except a handful of GOP leaders from bringing a clean CR to a vote. Democracy the GOP way. If you can't win, change the rules of the game.

AMDS89
AMDS89

@MatthewHudson The SENATE started all this? I'm sorry, but let's get one thing clear: HOR REJECTED a Budget put together by the Senate MONTHS AGO. I agree that the country is going down the wrong path, especially when people elect extremist tea party republicans who threaten an all or nothing approach to get what they want. What if they asked for secession? Should we give it to them? What about outlawing abortion? It's a slippery slope I should think...

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@zippy-the-wonder-slug I'm not.  This is a separation of powers issue between the House, the Senate and the President.  If the House caves, then we will lose our Republic, and our nation will start to erode even faster than it is now.

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@SimonCollinge What exactly do they do?  Honestly, illegals walk across the border with near impunity, are protected by a president that enforces only the laws he feels like, at that moment, and ICE is a joke.  

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@aztecian After you destroy our republic, what kind of government would you replace it with?

Openminded1
Openminded1

@aztecian Your typical race card bs. The god fearing white people you are referring to will never move to a trailer park anywhere they are all financially well fixed, now the democrats that is more there speed.

poss0021
poss0021

@aztecian Maybe it's time for everyone else to stop relying almost completely on white men to finance their entire life and solve all of their problems.  It's easy to sit at the bottom and bitch that their are obvious, and often unsolvable problems.  It's another thing to actually do something about it.  Then upon acting, one must evaluate whether or not the actions had the desired effect.  Were their any negative consequences of the action?  Are these negative consequences as bad or worse as the problem the action hoped to solve?  Maybe it's time for other people to take a look in the mirror and be accountable for some things too.

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@j45ashton How DARE he do his job!  He should just roll over, and let the Senate pass whatever they want, right?

 All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. 

How do you feel about that?  Do you disagree with the Constitution?

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@grape_crush Oh, was going to reply until you started calling people names.  Then I said, nope, not smart enough to hold a conversation with.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Screened  

Over at the Drudge report you get a lowbrow humorfest bulit around abject bigotry and hatred.

I'll take obnoxious poetry, thank you.

MatthewHudson
MatthewHudson

@littleredtop Obama did the job the insurance companies demanded.  If he backs away now, they will pull their funding.  He cannot allow that.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@littleredtop Great argument red. So essentially your point is that all Obama has to do is what the GOP demands, and all is well? You are aware that Obama was re-elected by a country that knew ACA was going to remain the law if that happened are you not?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@littleredtop

Why even have these meetings?  All he has to do is agree to end the ACA

People who complain about Obama not negotiating and then proceed to make the above statement are clearly clueless about the issue at hand.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@ahandout @Kalyan The administration doesn't make money, the fed does.  So that's why they haven't told you.  

The fed releases that information if you care to google it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@ahandout 

Just think of how much more all the interest will cost if we default.  74% of the country disapproves of the GOP now.  They'd chase you with pitchforks.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @Kalyan How much has been wasted on pointless wars, subsidies to agribusiness and giveaways on useless weapons programs that the army doesn't need or want?

outsider
outsider

@ahandout @Kalyan  

How much do you know Handy? And how much are you told by Fox, that you parrot here?

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@Openminded1 "The god fearing white people you are referring to will never move to a trailer park anywhere they are all financially well fixed..."

I'd bet money that the "god fearing white people" he is referring to already live in a trailer park somewhere in the rural south or west. Jesus, have you never been out of your parent's basement? If I wanted to be driven insane I could drive you all over this country to show you those bone-ignorant, white boneheads, driving their $40,000 pickup trucks from their trailers to the local bait shop to but their 12-pack of PBR and smokes with their SNAP cards. You don't even know your own tribe.

I'll give you one thing. A bunch of them may be racists as hell but this is about tribalism: rural vs. urban; liberal vs. "conservative." Bill Clinton was a white, rural southerner (one of them) and they still made him "our first black president," and every sort of other they could think of, even though he was "financially well fixed."

j45ashton
j45ashton

@MatthewHudson @j45ashton He's doing a job?  Really?  Could of fooled me.  I thought he was just bouncing around willy-nilly between Ted Cruz & moderate Republicans, trying to figure out how to survive.  

I disagree with that part of the Constitution where slaves count as 3/5s of person.  I know they changed this.  But you sound like an originalist...so you probably want to go back to it.

Don't think a disagree with the Constitution.  Think I probably do disagree with you.

ahandout
ahandout

@fitty_three @Screened Poor, poor 53, nobody wants to engage you even on the outskirts of Time.  It's because you are one crazy SOB, 53.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mantisdragon91 , since the government paid for the fence, I think we should sell it to Mexico and let them keep the Texans out.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@shepherdwong @Openminded1 You have made enough post on here to know dummy if you have read some of my other 4500 post that I am black , retired, older then you and have traveled all over this country and the world. I do not need a geography lesson from a james bond wannabe. Are first black president is in the office now, billy like the sax and jazz , that is about as black has he will ever be. My parents never had a basement and have be dead before you were born .