May 11th, 2011
07:51 PM ET
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."
Mr. Obama meets with Senate Republicans Thursday at the White House and will call both parties from the House over for talks in the coming weeks according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to "adopt a balanced approach in confronting the nation's long-term deficit challenges