President Obama just finished a press conference following Speaker Boehner's decision to walk away from debt negotiations. The President said that the deal he was willing to agree to involved huge spending cuts, including cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, if only the GOP would compromise on revenue raising. There would not have been tax rate increases; just closing loopholes. The President passionately spoke about the letters and emails he's getting from seniors and people with disabilities and young people trying to pay for college, and he could not agree to cut spending on health care and education while completely sparing the wealthy and corporations. He said he was just looking for fairness and shared sacrifice. He spoke eloquently and forcefully about the need for people who have done well to do their share to bring down the deficit.
The President has called a meeting for 11 am tomorrow with Speaker Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell -- leaders of both parties in both Houses of Congress -- to demand that they tell him what they can agree to that results in an extension of the debt ceiling to after the election. He said he is not willing to go through this again in 6 or 8 months, so extending the debt ceiling into 2013 is now his bottom line. If Congress wants to give him the responsibility to do it himself, he'll do that.
Despite all of the partisan rancor, the President said he is certain that the debt ceiling will be raised. He said he can't believe Congress would be so irresponsible as to allow a default. He said that to think about politics instead of working stiffs is inexcusable. He was asked about what will happen when the markets open on Monday after this news and he said there better be some movement in the next couple of days.
And that's where I leave you for now. Jennifer