Analysis: Is Financial Catastrophe Looming For U.S.?
MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:
And we've also got NPR's Cokie Roberts with us this morning, to give us some analysis on all this. Good morning Cokie.
COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, how are you, Mary Louise?
LOUISE KELLY: I'm well, thank you. So let me start with this development that Andrea was just reporting there - Republicans and Democrats now working on their own, separate plans. Is there any way to see this as progress?
ROBERTS: So I think that this is something that is going to be hard because the White House is saying it doesn't want a short-term level - lifting of the debt ceiling. But it's something where you can get to an agreement.
LOUISE KELLY: Give us a little bit of a reality check here - big-picture reality check. We have been hearing for weeks that catastrophe looms, that we're on the brink of disaster. We're now hearing, maybe something that maybe represents progress. Are we on the brink of disaster, still?
ROBERTS: But there is a strong sense, at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, that this is something that they really do have to get done by August 2nd.
LOUISE KELLY: Yeah, and we're hearing talk that maybe the credit-rating agencies may lower - may lower the rating, whether or not they come up with an agreement at this point.
ROBERTS: And that, of course, would have the affect of costing everybody more money.
LOUISE KELLY: Talk to me a little bit, Cokie, about the group in Congress that seems most opposed to a compromise - that would be the Republican freshman class in the House. They seem to be getting - if not most, certainly a lot of the blame for the current impasse. Is that valid, for them to be getting that much blame?
ROBERTS: Now the president's not going to do that because that, he is going to leave to the United States Congress.
LOUISE KELLY: Mm-hmm. Well, so where are we, Cokie, big picture again? I mean, let's assume - let's take the Republican and Democratic leaders at their words, and assume that they are going to figure something out. August 2nd comes and goes, the world does not end. What then?
ROBERTS: Then - then what you have is the normal legislative process, and they slug it out in the spending bills - one after another. And each one becomes a very difficult thing to get done. But that is exactly where Congress normally is, and then the drama ends until they have to raise the debt ceiling again.
LOUISE KELLY: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.
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