Update from Thursday's White House briefing:
Press Secretary Jay Carney says White House "optimistic" Congress will reach a debt compromise:
We continue to believe and remain optimistic that Congress will come to its senses, that cooler heads will prevail and that a compromise will be achieved. As I just spelled out, it really isn't that complicated at this point. What we need to do is get beyond voting on dead on arrival measures that aren't going to become law when we have so few days left to reach a compromise. We need to get that kind of political theater out of our system and get to work on something that can actually pass both Houses with bipartisan support and be signed by the president.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the chances for a "grand bargain" on the debt ceiling:
All I'm saying is the president was at the table, the potential agreement was on the table, the grand bargain, and the speaker walked away from the table over an issue that can be resolved quite easily.
If the political will is there, we can move back to those negotiations. If that isn't possible in the next five days, then there are ways that we can resolve this issue in a fair compromise that does the key things, which is lock in significant cuts and lift the cloud over our economy and ensure that we're not, you know, playing in this three-ring circus for the next six months.
...I think I've indicated, and I will say it explicitly, that the chances aren't great that we end up between now and August 2nd with a sweeping, grand compromise between the Republicans and Democrats that reduces the deficit $3 trillion to $4 trillion over 10 years, includes balance between entitlement reform and tax reform. That's not likely, but it's available if the political will is there.
Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation and former Republican congressman advice to his former Republican colleagues on dealing with the debt ceiling:
This is a time that I think most of us that have watched politics have never seen before. Because there are people in Congress who don't like the word compromise, who don't believe in it.
We need for people to come together, to set aside their own egos and a certain part of their own agenda for the American people to make sure we maintain the strongest economy in the world to send a signal to the world that we can get big things done.
Secretary LaHood urged Congress to pass bill to fund Federal Aviation Administration:
Since Congress failed to pass an FAA bill, nearly 4000 FAA employees have been furloughed and as many as 70,000 construction workers across America are out of work. Important airport modernization projects have been shut down in every state in the country.