UPDATE: President Obama on Monday ruled out any temporary fix to the problem.
At a White House press conference ahead of the latest debt negotiations with Republicans, the president said: "I will not sign a 30-day, or 60-day, or 90-day extension."
Despite the long odds, the president is still pushing for what the White House has billed as a "grand bargain" on cutting the deficit and raising the debt ceiling.
“Let’s step up. Let’s do it,” Obama said. “I’m prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done, and I expect the other side should be willing to do the same thing if they mean what they say.”
UPDATE, Monday at 10:34 a.m.: The public posturing and political gamesmanship continues—but so, too, does the actual negotiating.
Both sides were back at work Sunday, the New York Times reports. The meeting lasted only a little more than an hour, but the "two sides agreed to resume talking Monday, and every day after that, until a deal is done," the paper reports.
A deal seems far from certain given the months-long stalemate that has dominated the debate in Washington, but both Republicans and Democrats say that, ultimately, they will find a way to prevent the nation from defaulting on its debt.
“Nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling; I haven’t heard that discussed by anybody,” the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said on Fox News Sunday.
Original Post, Sunday at 9:35 a.m.: In the grand political game of debt ceiling talks, House Speaker John Boehner has doubled down, for better or worse.
Late Saturday the Republican legislative leader said that he would seek a deficit reduction deal half as large as the White House—$2 trillion instead of $4 trillion—in Sunday’s debt negotiations with President Obama.
The Associated Press reports that after a secret meeting with Boehner last weekend, the president sought a larger deal, signaling a belief that Republicans were open to creating more tax revenue to help fight the country’s growing debt. But Saturday’s announcement saw Boehner drawing a line in the sand on the issue.
"Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground,” Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement, “the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes."
The president had sought higher taxes for the country’s wealthiest residents, which Republicans resisted. Vice President Joe Biden has been working with a bipartisan group on a smaller $2 trillion reduction deal which includes more spending cuts to social programs—a scenario top Democratic legislators say puts the largest burden on the middle class.
As the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the national debt ceiling looms, Boehner’s announcement threatens to scuttle an agreement in tonight’s 6 p.m. debt talks, and brings into sharp relief the fact that the president, Democrats and Republicans all seem at odds with little evidence of a possible agreement. The White House reacted to Boehner’s statement by saying the president would not “back off” on efforts towards a comprehensive effort, according to Reuters.
If a deal isn’t reached to raise the debt ceiling, the White House has said consequences could be devastating to the national and world economies.