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Video: As US hits debt ceiling, how close are we to a deal?

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    >>> this is actually a great opportunity to address this burgeoning problem. we have a $14 trillion debt as big as our economy, which makes us look a lot like greece and over and above that we have $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities, promises we made, popular programs, medicaid, medicare, social security , obligations we can't meet. it's an opportunity to come together and those talks are under way led by the vice president.

    >>> joining us from washington, kelly o'donnell, are we looking at potentially some sort of deal on the debt ceiling?

    >> eventually. how long and how ugly will it get? mitch mcconnell mentioning greece, doing it very often these days more often than the waiters in my new york city neighborhood at one of my favorite place, trying to always refer to the world consequences. we're hearing from this desire to get the debt ceiling and magic day having to shuffle around to pay its bills. what are the different options, what is known as the senate six, three republicans and democrats have a lot of problems and seems to have been eclipsed with the group working with vice president biden and republicans like mitch mcconnell saying unless the president is directly involved no deal has the credibility to go forward. you have both parties saying the debt ceiling must be raised but how to get there. there are certainly republicans, namely tea party sort of affiliated republicans who say there's got to be extraordinary spending cuts, even speaker boehner is saying unless there are cuts that exceed what the increase would be, this is a non-starter. it's going to be tough, leines in the sand, all of that.

    >> how to get to a deal. a little bit of criticism. pat buchanan , wouldn't he be the one? joe biden probably knows capitol hill more than anybody in that white house .

    >> yes, he would. last week on the " wall street journal ," this fellow with soros took down the bank of england said he is long on u.s. bonds because he believes a deal with be done to cut that budget. if they pass this debt ceiling and raise it up without any kind of big deal , he will get out of u.s. bonds because he will be sure down the road the big default is coming. there's a real debate here. i think the republican position, i think, has some real strength behind it, we've got to do it now are we are risking the big default down the road.

    >> mark halperin .

    >> on this question of whether raising the debt ceiling is essential or not, whether it could hurt the country if it didn't happen, do you sense any difference in the body language or nuance, based on your reporting between speaker boehner or mitch mcconnell or are they communicating in sync whether to blink if that becomes necessary.

    >> i don't see daylight between mcconnell and boehner and some who believe in the tea party realm, a default would not be as critical and world shattering as some predict. that's not the mainstream view i hear. one of the views you're also hearing discussion about, trigg triggers, caps, ways to force the hand of congress if they cannot get it done themselves by having a deal if in some future time there is not the kind of spending reductions or a point the deficit is reached it would automatically trigger and real differences of opinion whether that makes sense. you have boehner calls those gimmicks and democrats say that's a way to bring about restraint and they'd like to see it include tax increases. some of this gets complicated and a thousand ways to look at it. the emotional sense i get on the hill, people are fully expecting this will go as close to the brink as possible. boehner saying let's act now and do it now to avoid what pat is talking about, the appearance of not getting any action done. many people think this will be a long hot summer.

    >> i hear pat.

    >> what about boehner and mcconnell, what do you sense between daylight between democrats on capitol hill and the white house ?

    >> that's a good question. i think where you have the president wanting to have some discussion of even looking at entitlements and things like that and how could that be done in a way that would not totally rock the boat , you have someone like harry reid , who has put his own line in the sand and saying no on social security , no on some of these other entitlements, it would seem to me that reid is taking a stronger liberal position than the white house , but the president, of course, is trying to be in the center now, in the kind of dawn of the new campaign season and he is certainly going to be the person to watch on this because while biden has, as mika pointed out, great ties, leverage and understanding in the senate, the president will ultimately have to weigh in here and his credibilitied will certainly be as important as anyone's in this discussion.

    >> tina brown .

    >> how much is obama's new energized political capital post osama going to be helpful in this new round? obviously that political capitol h -- capital has to do with national security but does seem like he's a far more confident figure after this?

    >> certainly in the decisive category, he has gotten a lot of credit from members in both parties about his willingness to make a gutsy call. you hear that all the time. on the hill they do draw distinguish between national security and economic issues and for republicans, the economy is something they think is their best argument. it's really all about leverage. you're right, the president has a certain standing that has been enhanced by the events of the last few weeks. this is a really tough issue and the economy has not been perceived as his strongest suit throughout his presidency. this one is tough. getting the american people to understand the stakes is something i hear people talking about quite a bit.

    >> pat buchanan , what do you think this deal is going to look at?

    >> i don't know they're going to get a big deal to be honest. i don't think they will get the big thing they want. i think it will look like something we promised to do this. this is a problem for the president because all of of -- everybody knows that we're at least within visible distance of the cliff of default. if something like that should happen on barack obama 's watch, there is no way he is not blamed for it because the republicans, whatever you say about them, the ryan plan, had all these ideas, they tried. this is a very, very dangerous game, i think for both parties. in the long run, i think the great risk belongs to barack obama because he's sitting in the cat bird seat.

    >> nbc's kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. good to have you. come back soon. congressman jim clyburn will join us, here in the studio today. next, the government releases millions of gallons of water. but scores are caught in the path where the water is headed, next on " morning joe ." long before a cummins diesel engine powered a ram truck.. it roared to life out here. and proved itself here, here, and here. and it's now delivering best-in-class towing, here. and unsurpassed torque, here. the ram 5 year 100,000 mile warranty covers you everywhere.

    >>> welcome back to " morning joe ." 31 past the hour. our live look at cape canaveral

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