Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Talks Get Off to a Rocky Start
Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for another battle over whether to raise America’s debt ceiling. Today President Obama met with lawmakers from both political parties and there were already signs that negotiations are not going to go smoothly.
Prior to the meeting the president said, “One of the ways we can sustain momentum is for Congress to take some actions right now, even though it’s election season, even though there’s gridlock, even though there’s partisanship, take some actions right now that would really make a difference.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner said before the meeting
that, “It’s time for us to deal with the big issues that are affecting our country and our society. We’ve spent enough time playing small ball.”
White House correspondent Ed Henry said that President Obama stopped by a deli to pick up hoagies before the meeting as a peace offering. Speak Boehner ate the sandwich but he wasn’t taking a bite out of the president’s proposal that the lift the nation’s debt ceiling with no spending cuts attached.
If a decision on the budget stalls like it did last summer and the U.S. bond rating is cut again, that could have an effect on the election. One poll Henry cited showed that 36 percent approve of the president’s performance on the deficit compared to 59 percent who disapprove.