“Leader Pelosi will be interviewed live by David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, November 17th from the NBC News’ Washington Bureau. The interview will air at the top of the 10:30 a.m. ET hour on NBC Channel 4 in Washington. Please check your local listings for exact times and station details in your area.”
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
With world watching, Congress against wall for last-minute fiscal solution
The nation is just hours away from a crucial deadline to avert default on its debts and Washington remains muddled in a risky legislative process that has the American people and the rest of the world holding its collective breath.
After a furious day of Republican proposals ended with a thud and no House votes to advance a plan, lawmakers have even less time to approve a measure to increase the nation’s borrowing power and end a dragging government shutdown.
Senate leaders say they are closing in on a deal that could pass the upper chamber with bipartisan support but it’s unclear how fast they can get it to the president’s desk.
“Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the rating agency wrote in a statement.
The three main credit rating agencies have all warned, in varying degrees, that the United States’ rating could be cut if it hit the Oct. 17 deadline when Washington is expected to run out of cash to pay its bills.
Washington is deadlocked as it enters the 14th day of a partial government shutdown that has already led to furloughs of 350,000 federal workers, canceled military training missions and slowed economic growth. Now, the United States is just days away from losing its ability to borrow money and faces the prospect of defaulting on its bonds.
Following multiple talks between Republican congressional leaders and President Barack Obama over the past two weeks, the negotiations are now focused on Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell launched last-ditch negotiations over the weekend to end the spending and debt stalemate, but they may not be able to reach an agreement that can pass both the House and Senate.
Faced with some Republicans shrugging their shoulders at the thought of the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations for the first time ever, notable economists are warning that the consequences would be the economic equivalent of a swarm of frogs and a plague of locusts.
The worst of the doomsday scenarios painted by economists involve an outright depression, as the effects of missing a debt interest payment cascade through the economy, financial markets and ultimately to Main Street.
While many analysts agree that a default still remains unlikely, warnings are beginning to intensify that Washington is skating too close to a perilous line.
THE WASHINGTON POST
By Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer
The Obama administration keeps undermining its own case for a punitive strike in Syria. If the president wants permission from Congress and support from the American people, he and his aides had better get their story straight.
The “messaging,” to use an unfortunate Washington term, has been confusing, contradictory and halfhearted. The nation simply will not approve going to war if its leaders cannot coherently explain what they want to do, how they plan to do it and why.
Secretary of State John Kerry threw mud into turbid waters Monday when he said the attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” This punch line came at the end of a string of similar assurances: no “troops on the ground,” nothing “prolonged,” merely a “very targeted, short-term” affair.
But if the attack is designed to be so limited, why bother? Why not just send a special envoy to give Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a stern talking-to, followed perhaps by a reassuring hug?