The rush to come to terms on the rest of the 2011 fiscal budget is proving to be a great challenge to President Barack Obama and the leaders of the United States Congress. The government is facing the real threat of a shutdown as the extension of the previous budget is coming to an end and no real resolution for the rest of the year is in sight.
In the last two days, Obama has met with the leaders of Congress to try to come to terms on a budget for the rest of fiscal year 2011. The main individuals involved in the talks were Obama, John Boehner, who is the Speaker of the House, Harry Reid, who is the Senate Majority Leader, and Vice President Joe Biden.
The extension of the previous budget plan comes to an end on Friday night, thus the pressure is really on Obama and Congress to avoid the government shutdown.
Obama told reporters that after the meeting no agreement was reached. However, Obama did announce that progress was made during the talks and only a few more “difficult issues” were left to come to terms on.
As a result of the few problems left for Congress and Obama to discuss and hammer out, Obama made it clear that he is still “not prepared to express wild optimism.”
Obama also canceled his Friday trip to Indiana so he could remain in the nation’s capital to work with Boehner and Reid on the budget. Obama was set to talk about clean energy in Indiana.
Reid and Boehner also told reporters that they are close to a final agreement, but as Reid said, “we keep never quite getting to the finish line,” despite the progress that is made. Reid went on to say that while he has his reservations about the likelihood of a deal being made on Friday, he is extremely hopeful that it does come.
If no agreement comes by the end of Friday, an estimated 800,000 government employees would be out of work until the new budget is agreed upon.
Obama said that the government cannot let the people of the United States down and leave them without the services provided to them by the government.
As President Obama put it, “For us to go backwards because Washington couldn’t get its act together is unacceptable.”
While eventually a budget will be agreed upon, the eyes of Americans are on Congress as the hope is that the deal comes by midnight on Friday night.