Trillion Dollar Mystery: No Debt Deal Yet in D.C. as Tensions Rise

July 15, 2011 Bookmark and Share

Discussions among Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama aiming at a deal to significantly cut the federal deficit and raise the nation’s debt ceiling did not produce fruit this week, with more talks expected this weekend.

As of Friday morning, reports indicated the important talks had made no progress, with neither side yielding from long-declared stances on taxes and cutting spending

Still, leaders in both parties are getting nervous as a deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk default – Aug. 2 – nears, with just a few legislative days remaining to come to a deal, write legislation and get it passed through a very divided Congress.

Mid-week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) floated a plan that would give the President authority to raise the debt ceiling without going back to Congress again for approval but only if the Administration made equivalent spending cuts.

That back-up plan got mixed reviews in Congress, and the President indicated he would continue to seek a larger deal.

Wednesday night, the President and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reportedly got into a testy exchange at a meeting, showing the level of frustration and emotion that has emerged as the deadline comes closer.

As of Thursday evening, the next meeting of negotiators was scheduled for Saturday, with all leaders expected to be in Washington for talks well into next week.

NAWG will continue to follow the negotiations’ progress as implications to federal agriculture spending and the wider economy emerge.