In his hastily-scheduled press conference, President Obama denied that he had ever agreed to a debt limit deal with John Boehner. In a letter to House Republicans, Boehner made the same claim and announced that he was exiting the discussions.
Obama suggested that the only area of agreement with Boehner was on $1 trillion of discretionary spending cuts — including defense cuts. In other words, not very much at all, for a two-year raise in the debt ceiling. When the talks turned to revenues and entitlements, the two sides were too far apart.
The president also announced that if the McConnell-Reid “Plan B” legislation reached his desk, he would sign it, thereby taking the political responsibility for raising the ceiling on himself. Although he said that negotiators were now out of time, he asked the Senate and House leaders to meet him tomorrow morning for further discussions.
Based on his demeanor, which suggested that he was sincerely angered and upset at Boehner’s recusal, it seems that he is reaching the point of frustration. As long as there are no ramifications in the markets, that could be a sign of encouragement for Republicans.
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