July 23 - Congress scrambled on Saturday to produce a deficit plan within 48 hours that keeps the U.S. from a catastrophic debt default. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Scrambling to reach a debt deal in Washington. A day after debt talks collapsed, President Obama holds an emergency White House meeting with congressional leaders, where he tells them to reach an agreement in the bitter dispute over budget spending cuts and taxes. Congress is now hoping to reach a deal within 48 hours. A Republican leadership aide said lawmakers are working on a plan for $3 trillion to $4 trillion in savings over 10 years, but another official there was no agreement on numbers yet. It is unclear whether Republicans would include any tax revenue to reduce the deficit, as Obama demands. Obama warned lawmakers not to pursue a short-term extension of the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt limit. He wants an extension that allows the U.S. borrowing to pay its bills through 2012, when he and most lawmakers are up for re-election. With the world's biggest economy set to run out of money to pay all of its bills on August 2, the window was closing fast for a "grand bargain" of spending cuts and tax increases in exchange for Congress raising the debt ceiling. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters