Geithner Says No Deal Is Not An Option

Precariously short of time, congressional leaders struggled in urgent, weekend-long talks to avert an unprecedented government default, desperate to show enough progress to head off a plunge in stock prices when Asian markets open ahead of the U.S. workweek.

President Barack Obama met Saturday with Republican and Democratic leaders — but only briefly— the day after House Speaker John Boehner abruptly broke off his own once-promising compromise talks with the White House.

But congressional aides labored to produce at least a framework agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit by Monday, congressional officials said. Even that would allow scarcely enough time for the House and Senate to clear legislation in time for Obama’s signature by the Aug. 2 deadline, a week from


Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in three talk show appearances Sunday he was still confident Congress and the administration would come to an agreement on raising the debt limit before time runs out, and he refused to reveal details of how the administration is planning to deal with a possible default if no such bargain is struck.

“It’s unthinkable that this country will not meet its obligations on time. It’s just unthinkable we’d ever do that. It’s not going to happen,” Geithner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

But the unthinkable is clearly being thought about. On Friday, Geithner met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley to discuss “the implications for the U.S. economy if Congress fails to act.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” Geithner refused to give any specifics about the United States’ contingency plans, even when pressed repeatedly on the matter by host Chris Wallace.

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