The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri July 15, 2011

Lawmakers On Call Through Weekend For More Budget Talks

With President Obama set to hold another news conference later this morning to talk about what's going on, here's some of the latest news about the talks between the White House and congressional leaders from both parties about deficit-reduction and raising the federal government's so-called debt ceiling before Aug. 2 — the day the White House says the government will run out of money and might default on some of its obligations.

-- On Morning Edition, NPR's Andrea Seabrook said that the president told lawmakers Thursday that they should take 24 to 36 hours to go back to their rank-and-file members to figure out a deal that will be acceptable to both sides — to Republicans who oppose any moves to increase tax revenues and to Democrats who oppose any moves to scale back spending on Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs.

"If they can't" find such a consensus, Obama will "call another meeting this weekend," possibly at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Md., Andrea told guest hose Mary Louise Kelly.

Also on Morning Edition, NPR's Ari Shapiro looked at the Democrats who are most opposed to some of the deficit-reduction options being considered. His report follows Thursday's piece by NPR's David Welna about the "Hell, No Caucus" on the Republican side.

-- Politico writes that "with White House debt talks at a make-or-break stage, Speaker John Boehner signaled Thursday that he's open to new options to avert a default next month, including a novel Senate plan that would surrender much of Congress's power over Treasury's borrowing to the president."

The proposal "would be a remarkable shift for House Republicans — something like telling Pickett's charge to go around Cemetery Ridge and not up it," Politico adds.

-- The Washington Post adds to that thread about the possibility that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's idea about giving the president the power to raise the debt ceiling might get approved. "President Obama prepared Thursday to bring bipartisan talks over the debt to a close, as Senate leaders worked across party lines to craft an alternative strategy to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit and avert a government default," the Post writes. "A breakthrough in the White House talks looked unlikely, however, leaving the Senate framework as the chief option for raising the debt limit before Aug. 2, when the Treasury will be unable to pay its bills without additional borrowing authority."

Reminder: We're planning to live-blog the president's news conference, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.