Debt Ceiling Talks Stall Further, Dems Push on Reversing Sequester

Republicans say Democrats now in danger of overreaching as debt ceiling deadline looms

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) speaks on "Face the Nation," Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.
October 13, 2013

As the debt-ceiling deadline fast approaches, talks between Republicans and Democrats have digressed.

"There was some movement a couple days ago and I think things are not moving now," Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said on "Fox News Sunday." "A couple nights ago it looked like there maybe was a way to go forward. I think the Senate Democrats have pulled back at the request of the White House and now may be trying to look at busting sort of busting the budget caps that were established back in 2011."

"I do think we will see our way through this, but the last 24 hours have not been good," Corker said.

Events over the weekend have made the likelihood of a deal by Oct. 17 appear increasingly uncertain as Democrats seek an agreement that includes removing budget caps and raising the sequester levels established in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Prospects for a deal looked somewhat promising when the weekend began, after Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) put forward a proposal that garnered support from both sides of the aisle, but Democratic leaders rejected that plan on Saturday.

That same day, Speaker John Boehner announced that there were no negotiations between the House and the White House after their plan to "lift the debt ceiling for six weeks and reopen government while setting up a budget negotiating process" was rejected by the president.

When asked if there was any deal that could get through both the House and Senate and ultimately be signed by the president, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told ABC’s "This Week" he did not see one.

"I’m not going to vote for any plan that I don’t think can get a majority of Republicans in the House, understanding that defunding Obamacare and delaying it for a year is not a realistic possibility now," he said.

For the Democrats, reversing cuts implemented by the sequester is now a key facet of this debate, but a nonstarter for many Republicans.

"The plan would be open up the government immediately for a period of time before the sequester hits and then have serious discussion where we might be able to undo the sequester. I’m optimistic that could work," Sen. Chuck Schumer (R., N.Y.) said on "Face the Nation."

On "Meet the Press," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) reiterated this as a "sticking point," noting that whether or not "there will be a sequester cut come the first 15 days of the new year," was one of three "basic elements" that needed to be worked on.

"[The] Senate Democrats are getting greedy about this whole thing," Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) told CNN’s "State of the Union."

"The president is the one saying he won’t negotiate," he said. "Now it’s Senate Democrats saying, we used to want a clean CR but we think you’re squirming so now we want to raise spending and break the budgets caps."

Corker made a similar point arguing, "Republicans started off in a place that was an overreach, and to try and change a law that was central to the president's agenda was not something that was achievable. A delay maybe, other kinds of things maybe. Now Democrats, I think, are on the verge of being one tick too cute. As they see the House possibly in disarray, they now are overreaching."