Partisan Standoff Dogs Debt-Ceiling Negotiations

Jul 15, 2011
Originally published on July 15, 2011 12:29 pm
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Meanwhile, Mr. Obama took his case to three different local TV outlets - bypassing the national media. Speaking to NBC's Washington affiliate, the president warned that time is running out.

BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, Andrea.

ANDREA SEABROOK: Good morning, Mary Louise.

LOUISE KELLY: All right. So bring us up to speed on the latest. What else do we know about what actually happened at last night's meeting - the latest one.

SEABROOK: The president gave all of the leaders 24 to 36 hours to find a deal. Go back to your voters, go back to your people and figure out what can pass. And if they can't get something, if they can't all come back with the bottom-line in that time, he'll call another meeting this weekend. And he and Vice-President Biden and the president's staff will be on call, apparently, this weekend.

LOUISE KELLY: And you said President Obama laid out the options as he sees them at this point. And he's rejected any kind of short-term deal, anything that would have to be renegotiated all over again in the future. Is it clear what his bottom-line is?

SEABROOK: So this is the impasse that were in right now.

LOUISE KELLY: OK. And I understand, meanwhile, two top senators - one Republican, Mitch McConnell, and Democrat Harry Reid - are working on their own plan. What is their plan look like?

SEABROOK: This - everyone is seeing this as sort of a last-minute option in case all else fails. But the politics here doesn't seem likely, that the House would hand keys over to the president when they're not likely to raise the debt ceiling at all.

LOUISE KELLY: Right. Well, and just quickly, Andrea, I mean I guess what this all comes down to. They've got to come up with some sort of plan that passes the House.

SEABROOK: What can pass the House? What can get through the - especially Tea Party-supported members in the House?

LOUISE KELLY: Alright, thanks very much.

SEABROOK: My pleasure.

LOUISE KELLY: That's NPR congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.