Nightly News   |  March 17, 2013

Washington remains in stalemate

Washington remains locked in a budget stalemate ahead of President Obama’s trip to Israel. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> now to this had country's fiscal challenges. they were on the agenda did with no sign from democrats or republicans of a budget agreement any time soon. the president will leave that issue behind, at least for a few days, as he travels this week to the middle east . more tonight from nbc's peter alexander at the white house .

>> reporter: with washington still locked in a budget stalemate a, a top democrat dismissing the republicans' plan.

>> it is an absolute hoax.

>> reporter: a republican leader calling the democrat's proposal a left wing manifesto. the president is at least getting praise from left wing republicans for reaching out.

>> he believes deficits don't matter, we do. this president has never missed on a deadline turning in a march madness bracket but 4 out of 5 times he missed turning in a budget.

>> reporter: house speaker john boehner today insisted he trusts the president.

>> absolutely. president and i have a very good relationship. we're open with each other.

>> reporter: a post election review is due out tomorrow.

>> the gop is the ticket to the middle class .

>> reporter: team party favored senator rand paufl kentucky won this weekend's straw poll at a conference of conservatives. among them sarah palin .

>> mr. president, we admit it -- you won. accept it. now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.

>> reporter: this week mr. obama makes his first presidential visit to israel. a trip steeped in both symbolism and sensitivities. the prime ministesident will also meet with prime minister benjamin netanyahu and palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas as the u.s. tries to manage significant regional challenges.

>> barack obama cannot afford to be the american president on whose watch iran acquires a nuclear weapon an he definitely does not want to be the american president on whose watch the two-state slux expires.

>> reporter: while president obama 's been dogged by the perception he's cool strong america's strongest middle east ally, they say this trip should send a clear message that the u.s. stands strongly behind the jewish state .