WASHINGTON — Neither side in the standoff over the federal budget showed signs of movement Sunday as the
The shutdown of government agencies, which began Oct. 1, has so far had limited impact on the economy, but economists have warned that the damage will mount as the closures drag on. This week, the shutdown is expected to begin hitting mortgage markets, for example. Real estate industry officials have said that home buyers could start seeing delays or loan cancellations because the IRS and other government agencies cannot respond to requests for documentation and other paperwork needed to close on loans.
Whatever the impact, however, the shutdown seems unlikely to end for at least several more days — and quite likely another week — as
In interviews on the Sunday morning talk shows, both sides stuck to talking points that they have carefully honed over the past several days: Republicans said they tried to entice President
Currently, “the path we're on” leads to a default on the government’s debts, House Speaker
“We’re not going to pass a clean debt-limit increase,” Boehner said, referring to an increase without conditions, which Obama and
Although some conservative Republicans have downplayed the impact of a default, Boehner told interviewer
Boehner sought to lay the blame for the deadlock on Obama. "The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation," he said. "I told my members the other day, there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."
On the Democratic side, Treasury Secretary
"Congress needs to do its job. They need to open the government; they need to make us so we can pay our bills. And then we need to negotiate," Lew said on CNN's "State of the Union."
The Republican position is "dangerous" and "reckless," Lew said.
For now, each side is testing the other’s resolve and also trying to gauge public reaction. In addition, Boehner has the difficult task of finding a solution that doesn’t widen an already-deep split within Republican ranks between the
In the ABC interview, Boehner hinted at one step that some other Republicans have said is likely — an end, for now, to the party’s demands for changes in President Obama’s
“I'm not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this,” he said. In detailing those problems, he skipped any mention of the health law, focusing, instead, on
"Let's look at what's driving the problem -- 10,000 baby-boomers like me retiring, every single day. 70,000 this week. 3.5 million this year. And it's not like there's money in Social Security or Medicare," he said. "We know these programs are important to tens of millions of Americans. But if we don't address the underlying problems, they are not sustainable."
In the budget he offered to Congress this year, Obama suggested trims in both programs that he would accept, but only in exchange for ending some tax preferences for upper-income Americans that the White House calls loopholes. Republicans have refused to accept any new tax increases.
Whether that set of issues provides an easier path for compromise remains unclear. Previous negotiations on those issues have gone nowhere. But, as Sen.