Obama to talk debt, Libya in first news conference since March

President Obama will face the White House press corps Wednesday as his administration grapples with challenges on many fronts.

Obama has not held a news conference since March, and is likely to face questions in Wednesday's East Room about pressing matters like the the debt-ceiling standoff, the intervention in Libya and the war in Afghanistan.

ADVERTISEMENT
At the same time, on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Senate Republicans are planning to unveil a balanced-budget amendment during a news conference in the Capitol.

"The juxtaposition is sort of an important point," said a Senate Republican aide. "At the same time the president explains to reporters why he thinks taxpayers should take the hit, a large group of Senate Republicans will be fighting to make the government balance its budget instead."

Obama has inserted himself into the talks over raising the $14.3 trillion debt-ceiling since the negotiations led by Vice President Biden broke up last week. He met Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to try and break the impasse, and will meet Wednesday afternoon with Senate Democrats as he continues to look for a deal that can pass Congress.

The president is facing pushback from Republicans, who say the debt-ceiling package cannot include tax increases, as well as from Democrats, who want the president to fight for their priorities.

Obama has also been bruised by both sides of the aisle for intervening in Libya without seeking congressional authorization to do so.

ADVERTISEMENT
The president will likely defend his withdrawal announcement on Afghanistan during the news conference. Despite disapproval from Democrats and Republicans, a new poll out Wednesday morning showed that a majority, more than 70 percent, agree with Obama's plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people. 

All that comes as Obama gears up for his reelection campaign. The president's Republican challengers have begun running in earnest since the last time the president held a news conference, and election season is well under way for both parties.