Obama Scrambles to Look Relevant in Debt Talks

From The Associated Press:



Decrying a “partisan three-ring circus” in the nation’s capital, President Barack Obama criticized a newly minted Republican plan to avert an unprecedented government default Monday night and said congressional leaders must produce a compromise that can reach his desk before the Aug. 2 deadline.

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” the president said in a hastily arranged prime-time speech. He appealed to the public to contact lawmakers and demand “a balanced approach” to reducing federal deficits.

Obama stepped to the microphones a few hours after first Republicans, then Democrats drafted rival fallback legislation Monday to avert a potentially devastating government default in little more than a week.

Obama said the approach unveiled earlier in the day by House Speaker John Boehner would raise the nation’s debt limit only long enough to push off the threat of default for six months. “In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem,” he said.

The president had scarcely completed his remarks when Boehner made an extraordinary rebuttal carried live on the nation’s networks.

“The president has often said we need a `balanced’ approach, which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more,” the Ohio Republican said, speaking from a room just off the House floor.

“The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.”

Read the whole thing here.

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