Meet the Press   |  October 13, 2013

What hurdles are left in reaching agreement?

Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio address the remaining obstacles interfering with an agreement on the debt ceiling deadline and government shutdown.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> agreement on raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown by thursday, and if the answer is yes, senator durbin, what do you have to overcome? what are the realisticing poin isticking points that have to be overcome? do you think you'll have it by thursday and what are the sticking points you have now?

>> i'm a hopeful person and i hope we can do it. i hope sensible people prevail, because at this point it isn't just a shutdown and all the damage it's caused, but if we default on our debt it will have a dramatic negative impact on the savings account of average americans. whether or not we will sit down in a budget conference finally and start hammering it out, whether there will be a sequester cut come the first 15 days of the new year, the new calendar year, those are the basic elements that i think we need to work on.

>> i'm a yes, by the way.

>> deal by thursday?

>> yes.

>> because you would have overcome what obstacle?

>> because we would have decided as a congress that we need to avoid going over the debt limit and it will probably be a rather short-term solution.

>> you know house republicans in particular, they seem quite unhappy here. they don't want to do a long-term extension raising of the debt ceiling. they want to have a conversation about obama care. in your estimation, should the discussion about obama care be over?

>> well, first of all, i oppose obama care and think we ought to repeal it and replace it, and i think most americans agree with that. but we can minimize the damage in this process by doing certain things that were consistent with the original obama care like making people verify their income when they go on exchanges. we're dealing with a 40-hour work week so when people aren't taking in 30 hours and below part-time work. but no, i think we ought to focus on these spending issues, we can and should. i don't think there will be a long-term solution in the next few days, but i think we'll figure out a way to put off the discussion and i hope we do it in the next few days.

>> if you get past a crisis point and sairy, well, let's get into a bigger discussion about the budget. you are on simpson bowles, you are on the supercommittee.

>> it wasn't that successful.

>> right, and where is there a reason to be hopeful that congress can get to something meaningful here?

>> this may be harrassy, but i think simpson bowles got it right. put everything on the table. we know ten years from now medicare is not sustainable financially. we have to do something. why wait ten years to see that reality? we know social security has 20 years, or perhaps less? what are we going to do about it today in a small way that it will have that longevity? we have a tax code that takes $1.23 trillion out of the treasury each year, and in that we cannot find some savings, closing some loopholes, quote, raising some revenue? of course we can.