July 29th, 2011
10:40 AM ET

No negotiations yesterday

According to a senior Congressional Democratic aide and two Congressional Republican aides while the Boehner bill was pending all day Thursday, there were *no* quiet negotiations toward a compromise solution between Democratic and Republican leaders on either side of the Hill. Per the senior Democrat, yesterday Senate Democrats were available to talk to House Republicans but Republican leadership was too busy vote counting to talk about next steps. A House Republican leadership aide puts it differently: there were no negotiations because leadership is committed to the Boehner bill not a compromise.  On the Senate side, both the senate Democratic and Republican aides say to date, Senate Republican leaders have been unwilling to break with Speaker Boehner and cut a separate deal with Senator Reid.

Bottom line another day went by, no more progress toward a compromise.

July 28th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

Weekly Poll

Topics: Debt Ceiling talks • Poll
Briefing bites: Carney says August 2 ‘hard and fast’ deadline
July 27th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Briefing bites: Carney says August 2 ‘hard and fast’ deadline

Jay Carney did his best to instill continued urgency ahead of the August 2 debt ceiling deadline during the White House press briefing Wednesday:

It is only a matter of days before the August 2nd deadline. And while at midnight on August 2nd we don't all turn into pumpkins, we do as country lose our borrowing authority for the first time in our history. And that would be a very bad thing.

Carney added that if the deadline did pass, the government would have to make difficult decisions about which financial obligations to honor.

Choices then have to be made and it's a Sophie's choice, right? Who do you save? Who do you pay? That's an impossible situation that this country has never faced and should never face if Congress does what it was elected to do and does its job.

Carney also reiterated the president is not for a deal that only raises the debt ceiling for a matter of months, contending that it will be more difficult to reach a deal during an election year than now.

Do you believe that it will be any easier in an election year? We all know as veterans of Washington and understand how cycles work, it gets a lot harder to do hard things in an election year, right? And that's not a question of who it helps or hurts politically. You could argue because the public is overwhelmingly in support of the president's position that we should do this in a balanced way that this fight is good politically. But it's bad for the country and it's bad for the economy.

July 26th, 2011
08:09 PM ET

Obama sidelined in debt talks?

When all of this started, President Obama- by choice- kept his distance, tasking Vice President Joe Biden instead to do his bidding with Congress. He eventually got very involved and was negotiating with Speaker Boehner for the last several weeks. Now his role has changed again as House Republicans try to eject the president from the conversation but can he really be sidelined?

Obama uses bully pulpit to push for debt deal
July 25th, 2011
10:06 PM ET

Obama uses bully pulpit to push for debt deal

President Obama's strongest words were directed at Washington's business as usual Monday night while urging both parties to come together on a debt deal:

[Americans are] fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They’re offended by that. And they should be.

In his seventh prime time televised address, Obama sought to increase pressure for congressional leaders to reach a deal that would allow the government to continue borrowing money pay its debts after August 2.

And the president singled out House Republicans for intransigence and said the political showdown is "no way to run the greatest country on Earth."

It’s a dangerous game that we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.


Obama held meeting with congressional leaders
July 23rd, 2011
01:04 PM ET

Obama held meeting with congressional leaders

Washington (CNN) - President Obama and Congressional leaders convened Saturday for less than an hour at the White House amid ongoing negotiations to raise the debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline. House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with the president and Vice President Joe Biden in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Read more here about the status of the talks.

July 23rd, 2011
10:25 AM ET

Obama: There's still time for debt deal

Washington (CNN) - President Obama encouraged members of both parties to find a balanced agreement to raise the debt ceiling ahead of the August 2 deadline. In his weekly address released Saturday, ahead of his meeting with Congressional leaders, Obama said the debate "boils down to a simple choice."

"We can come together for the good of the country and reach a compromise; we can strengthen our economy and leave for our children a more secure future.  Or we can issue insults and demands and ultimatums at each another, withdraw to our partisan corners, and achieve nothing," Obama said. "We know the right thing to do.  And we know what the American people expect us to do."

Read more here.

Saturday meeting at the White House
July 23rd, 2011
08:38 AM ET

Saturday meeting at the White House

After the breakdown of talks last night, President Obama has summoned the leaders to the White House on Saturday to continue to figure out a way to compromise for the debt talks. We'll see the beginning of the meeting when the travel pool goes into the Oval Office. Of course, the real discussions will begin once the cameras are kicked out. We'll see if there's any progress today and we'll keep you up on the latest details.

11:00 AM         THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Congressional Leadership Oval Office

Along with the president and vice president, the following are expected to attend:

Speaker John Boehner

Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader

Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader



Boehner, Obama deal off
July 22nd, 2011
07:38 PM ET

Boehner, Obama deal off

So this happened Friday night:

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner walked away from debt talks with President Barack Obama's administration Friday, raising the stakes in the country's ongoing effort to stave off national default.

"In the end, we couldn't connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country," Boehner wrote in a letter to fellow Republicans.

The House speaker said that "a deal was never reached, and was never really close."

"For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward," he wrote.

Next up: an 11 a.m. meeting Saturday at the White House with congressional leaders of both parties.


Full transcript of Obama's press conference after the jump:

July 21st, 2011
05:01 PM ET

Another day, another meeting

The White House has confirmed Democratic leaders from both chambers - Reid, Durbin, Pelosi, Hoyer - will meet with President Obama at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the latest negotiations surrounding the debt ceiling increase.