Discuss as:

Obama agenda: 'If not now, when?'

The AP: “Grasping for a deal on the nation's debt, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders remained divided Sunday over the size and the components of a plan to reduce long term deficits. Saying "we need to" work out an agreement over the next 10 days, the president and lawmakers agreed to meet again Monday. Obama also sought to use the power of his office to sway public opinion, scheduling a news conference for Monday morning, his second one in less than two weeks devoted primarily to the debt talks.”

Politico adds, “The president argued several times that negotiators should work toward a $4 trillion package for reducing the deficit rather than the smaller one favored by Republicans, calling on them to stand up to their base to get it done. He said both parties would suffer politically, but they need to do something substantial, said a third Democratic official familiar with the meeting. ‘If not now, when?’ the president said to the group, according to the official.”

The Washington Post: “Both sides appeared Sunday to dig further into their positions, leaving the talks deadlocked, a historic default looming and a fragile economy increasingly vulnerable to the consequences of Washington’s entrenched partisanship and ideological divide over taxes and entitlements.”

 “Obama's push for a $4 trillion package was shot down by House Speak John Boehner's warning that only a smaller package - which carries no tax hikes - stands a chance of passing,” the New York Daily News writes.
The top story in the Boston Globe: “Benefits at risk, Geithner warns.” Geithner said on Face the Nation: “On August 2d, we’re left running on fumes. We have no capacity to borrow… We have to act; Congress has to act ahead of that point. If they don’t act, then we face catastrophic damage to the American economy.’’

Bill Daley, the president’s chief of staff on ABC, per Roll Call: “Everyone agrees that a number around $4 trillion is the number that will send — make a serious dent on our deficit. It will send a statement to the world that the U.S. has gotten hold of their problems… That’s the president’s commitment. That’s what he wants to see.”

“President Obama’s apparent willingness to discuss Social Security cuts in the debt-ceiling negotiations with Congress has angered labor unions and could cause them to withhold support for Democrats in the next election,” The Hill writes. “‘I think this is a huge political mistake for Democrats,’ Chuck Loveless, legislative director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)” said. It wasn’t just AFSCME, representatives of the SEIU and AFL-CIO expressed similar concerns.

“Many of the 22,000 public employees out of work in Minnesota’s budget impasse say they will get through the extended layoff by tapping into personal savings, making household spending cuts, and relying on a spouse’s income or unemployment checks,” AP writes. “But others are looking for new jobs, creating the potential for a brain drain that would be one more negative from the nation’s longest state government shutdown in a decade.”