WASHINGTON (CNN)–President Obama is laying down the law to his Democratic colleagues as they begin negotiations to raise the nation's borrowing limit. The president's message: you have no choice but to work this out. Wednesday, Mr. Obama met with Democratic senators at the White House as Congress continued to try to reach a compromise by this summer to raise the nation's borrowing limit which is now $14.2 trillion. If the debt ceiling, as it is called, is not raised the government could default on its loans.
Wednesday, in the first of what will likely be many meetings between both parties in Congress, Mr. Obama told Democratic senators not to "draw any lines in the sand" according to Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid told reporters the caucus' meeting with the president ended on a "high note" and Democrats and the president stand united, "without any question, we're together," he said.
Just last month, Mr. Obama took the lead in negotiations between congressional Republicans and Democrats when it looked like they might not reach a compromise to avert a federal government shutdown. There was grumbling among some in his own party that the president gave too much. But Wednesday, Reid said there is no division between democrats as they head into negotiations over raising the nation's debt limit. "We are singing from the same hymn book, on the same page" he said.
The majority leader conceded deciding what to cut in the budget will not be easy but he maintained "all options are open." FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House and Senate negotiators from both parties will meet again this Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden to come to a compromise to raise the federal borrowing limit in order to avoid the government defaulting on its loans.
Vice President Biden emerged from Tuesday's two hour meeting of the group optimistic. "We had a really good discussion," he told reporters outside Blair House across the street from the White House. "[W]e're making real progress" he said. [E]verybody is being straight, cordial, all the facts are being laid on the table."
Democrats, including Finance Committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D) MT, seemed equally upbeat calling the talks "substantive." But Republicans, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) VA and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R) AZ, left the meeting without answering reporters questions.
Congress will have to vote on raising the nation's borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, above the now $14.2 trillion level sometime this summer. Republicans have threatened to withhold their support for raising the debt limit without major spending cuts and budget reform. But both parties seem wary of the politics involved in playing chicken with the nation's economic standing in the world, especially as the 2012 election approaches. (read more here)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama will meet continue his focus on deficit reduction Thursday, meeting with the chairs of his debt commission (pool for statement). He then turns to international affairs and unrest in the Middle East meeting with the Amir of Qatar. The two leaders will deliver statements in the Oval office (pooled press). Later in the afternoon the president switches to campaign mode, traveling to Chicago to attend a series of fundraisers to kick off his re-election bid (one event is open to TV cameras). He will remain overnight in Chicago.
The president's schedule provided by the White House after the jump. FULL POST
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama did not attend a White House meeting Thursday with members of his own debt commission, irking some of the Democrats on the panel who were expecting a high-level push from the commander-in-chief to show that its comprehensive deficit reduction plan is being taken seriously by the White House.
"He should have at least dropped by," one Democratic member of the debt commission told CNN, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wanted to speak more freely about the panel's private meeting.
A second senior Democratic aide close to the panel added that commission members were miffed and privately believe the President did not attend because it would have been awkward "given the fact that he has just endorsed $900 billion in deficit spending" with the tax cut deal.