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Obama, Lawmakers to Resume Debt Talks

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TEHRAN, July 18 (ICANA) – President Barack Obama and congressional leaders will continue to negotiate a possible deficit reduction deal this week to clear the way for congressional Republicans to back an increase in the federal debt ceiling.
Monday, July 18, 2011 1:56:13 PM
Obama, Lawmakers to Resume Debt Talks

While discussions continued over the weekend after the last full negotiating session Thursday, no significant progress has occurred and the chances for a comprehensive deficit deal sought by Obama in coming weeks appear remote, CNN reported.

Without a major deal, Congress would have to focus instead on a smaller agreement to raise the debt ceiling or face the unprecedented situation in 15 days of the government not having enough money to pay all its bills. The debt ceiling has reached its $14.3 trillion legally permitted maximum.

Senate leaders are working on a possible debt ceiling measure, based on a plan that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, unveiled last week. That plan would give Obama power to raise the borrowing limit by a total of $2.5 trillion but also require three congressional votes on the issue before the 2012 general election.

According to Senate aides from both parties, a revised version of the McConnell plan being put together with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, could come up for consideration this week, but only after legislators vote on Republican measures calling for spending cuts, caps on future spending and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

While the GOP measures are expected to fail, the votes would satisfy a Republican desire to get Democrats on the record with their opposition to them.

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