Snapshot: Developments in debt talks

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2011 11:53 PM
Snapshot: Developments in debt talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Here is the status as of late Sunday in negotiations to raise the U.S. $14.3 trillion debt limit.

* President Barack Obama has no scheduled face-to-face meetings with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress.

* The U.S. Senate this week could take up a fallback plan to raise the debt limit, Democratic aides say. It is based on a proposal first offered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell that would allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling and leave it to Congress to block the move.

*McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been discussing ways to make the proposal more acceptable to Democrats. It could include about $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and set up a bipartisan congressional panel to find further budget savings.

* White House budget director Jack Lew tells Sunday talk shows that lawmakers have time to reach a deal on substantial deficit reduction ahead of an August 2 deadline when the government will be unable to pay all of its bills.

* Senator Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, says on NBC's "Meet the Press" the Senate this week will consider a constitutional amendment to balance the budget as sought by Republicans. It will not pass, he says.

* Senator Jon Kyl, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, tells ABC's "the United States will not default on its debt."

* Republican Senator Jim DeMint says on NBC's "Meet the Press" it is time to "draw a line in the sand" because "a day of reckoning is going to come."

* Republican Senator Tom Coburn, who has participated in bipartisan deficit reduction talks, tells CBS's "Face the Nation" that he will offer an ambitious plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over 10 years. He concedes it won't pass the Senate. It includes items difficult for Republicans such as cuts for defense spending and revenue increases from closing special interest tax breaks.

* The Republican-led House to vote on Tuesday on a plan calling for immediate spending cuts and capping the level of federal spending to a percentage of the economy, 18 percent by 2021. The House also is to consider a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

* Lawmakers are under intense pressure from state governors, U.S. businesses and U.S. creditors to strike a deal and raise the debt limit.

(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Vicki Allen)