US & World

Congress works on holiday, three days before debt deadline

<strong>Still Right Twice A Day:</strong> Visitors look at the Ohio Clock outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill Sunday. The clock that has stood watch over the Senate for 196 years stopped running shortly after noon Wednesday. Employees who wind the clock weekly were furloughed in the federal shutdown.
Still Right Twice A Day: Visitors look at the Ohio Clock outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill Sunday. The clock that has stood watch over the Senate for 196 years stopped running shortly after noon Wednesday. Employees who wind the clock weekly were furloughed in the federal shutdown.
Jose Luis Magana/AP

This year's Columbus Day falls on Day 14 of the federal government shutdown, which means both the House and Senate will be in session on the holiday. Over the weekend, senators from both parties assumed key roles in the negotiations, after House Republicans and the White House failed to reach an agreement.

We'll update this post as more news comes in; here's Monday's schedule, courtesy of C-SPAN:

The Senate is in session at 2 p.m. ET; will vote later on judicial nominations.
The House is in session at noon; votes are expected at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: Leaders Of Congress Will Talk With Obama

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Boehner and House Minority Leader Pelosi at 3 p.m. ET today, the White House has announced.

Our original post continues:

President Obama and Congress have until Thursday, Oct. 17, to reach a deal averting a potential credit default by the U.S. government, which has been in shutdown mode since the start of the new financial year this month.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had at least two private meetings to discuss possible solutions to the impasse.

"The discussions were substantive, and we'll continue those discussions," Reid said in the Senate Sunday. "I'm optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion."

Without an increase in the borrowing limit that's currently set at $16.7 trillion, the government will be scraping to find money to meet its financial obligations, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says. And those needs will be particularly dire at the start of next month, as Nancy Marshall-Genzer reports for Marketplace:

"The U.S. has some huge payouts on November 1 — to Social Security recipients, Medicare providers — as well as its obligations to its troops. The country also needs money to keep running the parts of government that are still open — like the FAA and Justice Department."

On Sunday, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the United States' inability to get its financial house in order could bring "massive disruption the world over."

Speaking on Meet the Press, Lagarde told NBC's David Gregory that long-term solutions, not accounting tricks, were the answer to America's problems.

"When you are the largest economy in the world, when you are the safe haven in all circumstances, as has been the case, you can't go into that creative accounting business," she said.

On today's Morning Edition, NPR's David Welna looks at how the debt ceiling became "a nuclear-tipped leverage point."

Other developments over the weekend included:

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