Has Barack Obama ever had three press conferences in 17 days? That’s about the extent of the history we can expect as Obama takes his case to the people; apparently, against all odds, Eric Cantor called his bluff. Obama has nothing better to do, after all, since he canceled the debt-ceiling negotiations for today:
President Barack Obama suspended U.S. budget negotiations for the day on Friday to give congressional leaders a chance to come up with a “plan of action” on how to unblock talks meant to cut deficits and avert a debt default.
Obama, who had vowed to meet top lawmakers every day until a deal is reached to raise the U.S. debt limit, gave top Democrats and Republicans until Saturday morning to reconsider their positions in the high-stakes negotiations.
He will hold a news conference on Friday at 11:00 a.m. EDT while awaiting feedback from meetings on Capitol Hill due to take place in the morning.
The debt negotiations may resume over the weekend.
Today’s big suspense: will the White House allow reporters to actually question the President at this press conference, or is that beneath the dignity of an administration that spends its time rebutting Tweets? And when will Obama actually arrive for his 11 am press conference today? I’m claiming 11:25 in the pool, by the way.
Even if Obama has stomped out of the room (again), MSNBC reports that momentum is gathering on a debt-ceiling plan, although not the one Obama wants:
With time growing short and warnings more dire, the first, fragile signs emerged Thursday of a possible compromise to raise the nation’s debt limit and avert a potentially catastrophic default on Aug. 2.
Under a plan discussed by the Senate’s top two leaders, President Barack Obama would receive enhanced authority to raise the debt limit at the same time procedures would be set in motion that could lead to federal spending cuts.
Word that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky were at work on the fallback plan came as Obama and congressional leaders met for a fifth straight day in debt-crisis talks at the White House.
Rich Lowry says that Reid’s involvement in the McConnell plan has actually begun making it better, and it’s not hard to see why that might be:
Interestingly, the McConnell proposal seems to be getting better with Democratic input, although it’s all still very murky. I think this goes to show that Democrats want to be able to say they paired some cuts with a debt-limit increase.
Stay tuned to see whether Obama calls this “bluff” in today’s presser. If I can find an embed for live video, I’ll post it here.