By Ramsey Cox
Lawmakers are at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for more than a week. They are also working against an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit.
Republicans are demanding spending cuts, tax reform and changes to entitlement programs in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Obama has asked for a “clean” debt-limit increase, without any riders attached.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has introduced a debt-ceiling increase that would allow the government to borrow money until the end of 2014, but Republicans are not expected to allow the measure to advance. A procedural vote is scheduled on that bill for Saturday.
“Tomorrow morning unless it’s otherwise changed, we will be voting on the proposal from the majority leader and president ... to raise the debt ceiling more than $1 trillion,” Cornyn said. The minority whip added that the country has “maxed out” its credit card with $16.7 trillion in debt already.
Obama has been meeting with lawmakers this week in an effort to find a deal. Cornyn said that during the meeting with Obama Friday, the president compared a "grand bargain" to a unicorn.