Tempers Flare In Debt-Ceiling Talks As Deadline Looms
The hot questions now are which of the nation's financial obligations would be paid and what would be left to default if the current negotiations fail to result in a deal. President Barack Obama would be forced to choose from among Social Security checks, salaries for members of the military and veterans, unemployment benefits and many other government programs.
Los Angeles Times: Default Risk Widens Rift Within GOP
So far, such warnings have had little impact in the House of Representatives, where many members of the Republican majority, particularly newly elected "tea party" conservatives, have vowed to let the government default on its bills rather than vote for any debt ceiling increase. House GOP leaders have said they will vote for an increase only if it is accompanied by a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, deep cuts to Medicare, or other spending restrictions that President Obama has rejected (Hennessey and Nicholas, 7/13).
USA Today: Tempers Flare As Debt-Limit Deadline Nears
With time growing shorter, President Obama and congressional leaders grew angrier Wednesday in their effort to reach a deal to increase the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. At the same time, the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that a failure to act could trigger a financial meltdown (Jackson and Hall, 7/13).
Politico: Debt Talks Blow Up
The image of Obama, a Democrat and the nation's first black president, and Boehner, a Republican from working-class Midwest roots, tackling a package that would affect government benefits for millions and the progressivity standards of the entire U.S. tax code is extraordinary (Rogers, 7/13).
The Washington Post: With No Debt Deal, Obama Would Face Tough Choices Aug. 3 About What Bills To Pay
What happens if President Obama and Congress don't strike a debt deal? On Aug. 3, the nation would find out, with Obama forced to make a set of extraordinarily difficult choices about what to pay or not pay. [H]e would choose among Social Security checks, salaries for members of the military and veterans, unemployment benefits, student loans, and many other government programs, according to administration officials and an independent analysis by a former senior Treasury Department official in the George H.W. Bush administration (Goldfarb, 7/13).
CNN: Tempers Flare As Debt Talks Get Tense At White House
Administration officials have warned that a failure to raise the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2 could trigger a partial default. If Washington lacks the money to pay its bills, interest rates could skyrocket and the value of the dollar could decline, among other things. Democrats and Republicans remain at sharp odds over how to proceed. Obama has indicated a preference for a "grand bargain" that would save up to $4 trillion over the next decade through a combination of spending cuts, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and reforming politically popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (Sliverleib and Cohen, 7/14).