Debt-Ceiling Negotiations Impasse: Talks Between Democrats, Republicans Break Down
Just as it seemed a possible solution to the nation's debt-ceiling crisis appeared within reach over the weekend, the talks reached a new stalemate as both sides pursued separate solutions ahead of the August 2 deadline.
On Sunday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met with President Obama at the White House.
The purpose of the meeting was to update the president on the status of the discussions with Republicans and to share an alternative plan with him, said Democratic sources familiar with the talks.
The mood in the White House is concern, from their vantage point, with the House's inability to resolve the talks, the Democratic sources said.
After the meeting, Reid said in a statement: "Tonight, talks broke down over Republicans' continued insistence on a short-term raise of the debt ceiling, which is something that President Obama, Leader Pelosi and I have been clear we would not support."
Reid also laid out the Democrats latest deficit-reduction proposal, which included $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, no revenues and a deficit-ceiling hike through the end of next year.
On Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner released his own plan that included $3 trillion in cuts and raising the debt-ceiling in increments by about $900 billion and then $1.6 trillion by the end of 2012.
Reid called the Republican plan "a non-starter in the Senate and with the President."
Both sides have until August 2 to reach an agreement before the U.S. is expected to run out of money to pay at its bills and defaults.