Category: US Politics / July 31, 2013 5:45 PM EDT
President Barack Obama sought to rally Democrats behind an aggressive approach to the fall budget showdowns with Republicans, as he makes a rare visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday (July 31).
The meeting with Democrats, which takes place just before Congress begins a five-week summer recess, covers a range of issues, including the budget, the economy, immigration reform and the implementation of Obama's signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare.
Obama's meeting with his Democratic allies comes as he and congressional Republicans gear up for two deadlines.
By October 1, they must agree on a stopgap measure to fund the government or face a shutdown. In a fight that has the potential to rattle financial markets, Congress must also raise the legal limit later in the fall on the country's borrowing authority or risk a debt default.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference, House Speaker John Boehner expressed hope for a resolution to the fiscal crisis.
"This year the federal government will bring more revenue in than in any year in our history and still have nearly $800 billion budget deficit. We have a spending problem here in Washington. It has to be addressed and I've never given up hope that Washington will get serious about beginning to solve our fiscal crisis," Boehner said.
Obama was expected to urge Democrats to take a hard line against Republican attempts to make further cuts in the federal budget, arguing that they've cut enough already and that it's time to shift the focus to spending that will benefit America's middle class.
Video Credit: Reuters