The Senate will hold a rare Sunday session this weekend to negotiate the budget impasse and hopefully avoid a catastrophic default on Thursday.
The Senate, not the House, will be in session Sunday, although a budget solution would require action by both chambers.
Congress has until Oct. 17 to raise the debt ceiling. If the U.S. defaults on its $16.8 trillion in borrowings financial markets across the globe would plummet. U.S. would likely backslide into another recession and the rest of the world would follow.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., held “extremely cordial but very preliminary” talks Saturday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
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“I hope that our talking is some solace to the American people and the world,” Reid said on Saturday.
Those talks will continue Sunday, but Reid made no promises that this could be the beginning of the end. He said the talk led to “nothing conclusive.”
“Senator McConnell and I have been in this body a long time. We’ve done things for a long time together,” he said. “We don’t agree on everything, and that’s, as you know, an understatement.”
This is the first meeting between the two Congressmen since July. In fact, their meeting on Saturday had to be arranged by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.
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“There’s a will among all three parties — the president, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans. Now we’ll see if there’s a way,” Schumer said Saturday.
President Barack Obama said Saturday that he wants a long-term plan, not the six-week extension to the debt ceiling proposed by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
“It wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple of months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season,” Obama said.
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., claims there is a “a total breakdown in trust” between House Republicans and the administration.
“You don’t tell the speaker, the majority leader, the majority whip, ‘We’re going to negotiate.’ Then they come and tell our entire conference, ‘We’re going to negotiate,’” Schock said. “And then 24 hours later, you recant.”