Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obama, lawmakers fail to reach middle ground on debt talks

Top lawmakers are set to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House for the fourth straight day Wednesday as leaders from both political parties struggle to reach a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a potential economic calamity.

Administration officials have warned that a failure to raise the current $14.3 trillion ceiling by August 2 could trigger a partial default. If Washington lacks the money to pay its bills, interest rates could skyrocket and the value of the dollar could decline, among other things.

Obama said Tuesday he cannot guarantee older Americans will receive their Social Security checks next month if a deal is not reached.

"There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," the president told CBS News. (read more)