1. Ticking Clock

    Obama Open to Short-Term Debt Deal

    The National Debt Clock is shown Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 in New York. President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programs. The deficit for this year would surge to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion. The Debt Clock is a privately funded estimate of the national debt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    Mark Lennihan / AP Photo,Mark Lennihan

    President Obama says he's open to a short-term debt deal—“a few days,” his spokesman said Wednesday—if it would buy time for a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit. However, even as Senate Republicans work with Democrats on a framework to raise revenue and slash spending, House Republicans are giving no indication of backing away from their no-tax pledge. Eighty House Republicans have signed a letter pledging opposition to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan, to say nothing of the $3.7 trillion “Gang of Six” plan. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Wall Street firms have begun drafting “doomsday plans” in case the U.S. defaults on its debt.

    Read it at The Washington Post