White House Sees Deficit/Debt Deal Deadline As July 22

Jul 1, 2011

"The Obama administration believes congressional leaders must agree to a deficit-reduction deal by July 22 in order to raise the government's borrowing limit in time to avoid a default in early August, according to Democratic officials with knowledge of the negotiations," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

While the administration has been saying for weeks that the government won't be able to pay its bills after Aug. 2 if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised by then, it's now making the case that "the government needs a week or two to write and pass the necessary legislation and take the steps necessary to avoid missing a payment," the Journal adds.

On American Public Media's Marketplace Morning today, former top Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers said that he's confident "ultimately reason will prevail" and a deal will be reached between Democrats and Republicans.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a moment of tension that served to remind everybody how cataclysmic the consequences would be if there was to be a default," Summers said, "But I think it's essentially inconceivable that there will be a default."

But, as Bloomberg News reminds us:

"Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse over how to cut the deficit, which Republicans insist must be done prior to agreeing to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline. Republicans are demanding large spending cuts and no tax increases, while Democrats say higher tax revenue must be part of a 'balanced' plan."

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