POLITICS -- July 25, 2011 at 10:12 PM ET
Obama, Boehner Still 'Quite Far Apart' on Debt Deal
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner butted heads yet again Monday night over the way to resolve the nation's debt crisis.
In back-to-back primetime addresses, the president and the speaker outlined great fundamental differences that remain with barely more than a week to go before an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the national debt limit.
The president said Americans should be offended by the ongoing "partisan three-ring circus" in Washington and slammed a new GOP plan to temporarily raise the debt ceiling as sure-fire way to have yet another crisis in six months. He called on Congress to pass an acceptable compromise that he could sign before the deadline.
"The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government," the president said in a hastily arranged prime-time speech. He appealed to the public to contact lawmakers and demand "a balanced approach" to reducing federal deficits -- including tax increases for the wealthy as well as spending cuts.
Watch the president's full remarks plus analysis from Gwen Ifill and Political Editor David Chalian:
Chalian likened the president's remarks to "a Harvard-trained lawyer making his closing argument":
"The president declared it still a stalemate and that is where we stand at this date. Those two plans would be impossible to sort of bridge together in a conference on Capitol Hill. They're still quite far apart."
Following the president's remarks, Boehner accused the president of creating the "crisis atmosphere" over the debt ceiling.
"The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen," he said. "The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach, which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more."
After Speaker Boehner's remarks, Chalian outlined the path forward for both sides:
"They both have to get to their .. conferences, figure out what can pass both chambers. The country did vote for divided government last year and now it's up to them to make it work, as the president said, and it has to be something he can sign."