WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama met for less than an hour Saturday with congressional leaders in crisis talks aimed at averting a potentially catastrophic national financial default injust 10 days.
Neither the president nor the lawmakers spoke to reportersallowed briefly into the Cabinet Room before the meeting at theWhite House.
The president was flanked at the bargaining table byRepublican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic SenateMajority Leader Harry Reid. Also at the table were Vice PresidentJoe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate MinorityLeader Mitch McConnell.
On Friday evening, a visibly irritated Obama had summonedcongressional leaders from both parties to find a way to raise thedebt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline cuts off the government'sborrowing authority. Boehner announced Friday he was abandoning thetalks he had had for weeks with Obama, but he agreed to attend withthe others on Saturday.
The political theater played out even as the deadline neared.Barring action by then, the Treasury will be unable to pay all ofits bills. That could cause interest rates to rise, threaten theU.S. economic recovery and send shock waves around the globe.
The deadline pressure hasn't seemed to bring the parties closer,even though they all insist they do not want a default.
To watch President Obama and House Speaker Boehner discuss the debt-limit talks, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select the 'iO Extra' tab.