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White House: 'Weeks' until deal on debt limit

May 24, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters )

On the eve of another round of deficit reduction talks, the White House budget director said he envisions “quite a few weeks of conversation” between congressional leaders and Vice President Joe Biden until an agreement can be reached.   

Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew said Monday evening he is "optimistic" a deal can be brokered that will lead to a successful vote in Congress to raise the nation’s nearly $14.3-trillion debt limit.

“I can’t argue it will be pretty,” Lew said during a talk at the Economic Club of Washington.

Biden will convene a third week of budget negotiations with congressional leaders Tuesday afternoon as Republicans seek a deficit-reduction package in exchange for their votes to raise the nation’s legal borrowing limit by an Aug. 2 deadline. Lew is part of the talks.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling would result in the nation’s first-ever default on obligations.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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