1. SIGNS OF HOPE

    Boehner: 50-50 Chance of Debt Deal

    House Speaker John Boehner talks to the press following a political strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 14, 2011.  Boehner says GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann did a "really good job" in Monday's debate. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

    Maybe all the rumors of grand bargains weren’t so far off. Speaker John Boehner told members of the House Republican caucus Thursday morning that there’s a 50-50 chance of a deal on the federal budget and the debt ceiling within the next 48 hours. And one member present, New York Rep. Peter King, said he thought the odds were even better. The news comes after a day of softening positions on both sides, with Democrats suggesting they were open to cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and Republicans floating a willingness to consider revenue increases—perhaps through closing tax loopholes. But conservative members are still wary of revenue boosters, and said Boehner said the GOP wasn’t interested in increasing taxes.

    Read it at National Journal