Obama Visits Soup Kitchen as Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

U.S. president highlights furloughed government workers who are volunteering their time.
9:56 | 10/15/13

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Transcript for Obama Visits Soup Kitchen as Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears
-- resigned today. This. We've got a lot of volunteers here who -- for federal workers. Beaver -- through. Have not been paid. In some cases are very eager to be back on the job. And I -- while -- work hand. Yet they're here contributor giving back to you very quickly shows the kind of spirit that we have a mom all time federal workers all across. People -- dedicated life to public service. Think -- support -- -- of this country and yet find themselves in the situation which because of politics there's not a ripple through ups. Now this week will be entering its third week the government shutdown that was completely honest. And I'm happy options to meet again with the congressional leaders. This afternoon. I had I am going to. Once again urge them to open government. And -- is that the United States government is paying its bills. -- -- -- -- and this whole structure has been here. Unnecessary. Keep in mind that. The problem is not the US government run out of money. The problem is not that our deficits are rolling up our deficits and actually -- cut in half since -- came into office and are continuing to go down. The problem is not bad but there's not. The opportunity for us to. Work intelligently to come up big budget that creates long term fiscal stability -- -- world. The problem is just. Seeing this relationship as extra. Time and time again to try to extract its screen -- partners and confessed. And give our people have made very clear that's not how we expect Washington to do business. Distributor routes which are going to be differences and for the purpose. You don't need to inflict pain on the American people. Risk for the possibility of America's corporate credit damage. Just because one -- not getting its way. And not only is it untenable for us to continue to shut down. This week we don't start making some real progress. Vote in the house side and if Republicans are. Willing to set aside some of their partisan concerns in order to do what's right for the country we stand good chance of default and halting. And happy. Potentially devastating effect over. Sending interest rate shooting up. People. Mother's Social Security recipients or people with disabilities or small business people -- the government not getting paid on time. We've already had a different drummer -- because the show. That damaged would be greatly back. We don't make sure. Governments pay its bills and then have to -- this so. My hope is is that the kind of spirit additional borrowings outstanding -- here's. There's gonna carry over in the meeting with the leadership of this afternoon they consultant. Today. And it doesn't mean that differences between Democrats and Republicans go away that's what elections reports. But between elections were supposed to government and obstacles we heard. The very people who -- just -- -- -- and faster. Holds true very important discussions. Today. Over the next such. -- -- -- Short time ago today food pantry in Washington DC volunteer alongside some of those. Workers that are there. The food pantry obviously. Nonprofit. Aunt providing for those in the DC area. I -- bring it ABCs she shot a Walsh. Let's go back now actually to what the president is speaking about the budget showdown this afternoon. Differences in the parties. All it wants and so it doesn't make sense. News. Shut down for the threat of default as leverage in negotiations. So that's progress. Obviously until The -- -- so these folks are back to work through thick and volunteer on weekends during the retirement as a poster. When -- would like books beyond job. Real she's. We'll continue to push congresses are looking. But what will sing beautifully. We'll -- this afternoon whether of this progress is real I think there has been some progress in the sun. I think house Republicans continue to think that. Somehow they can extract concessions -- -- government shutdown or by threatening the fault them. My hope is that. A spirit of cooperation. What was forward. -- -- -- -- That was president at that food pantry in Washington DC -- wanna go to ABC's -- Walsh who has been watching the latest back and forth going now in today's fourteen of this shut down and if you. Look at the bottom of your screen there shows we've actually change the graphic is no longer counting down the days and we are in the -- we are actually counting now down to default. Something that are a lot of congressional leaders didn't think was a possibility last week and now it is looking ever more possible. Right and a lot of Americans what we do -- now is that this afternoon the senate. -- -- Republican leader Mitch McConnell -- Senate Democratic Leader. Harry Reid met face to face not over the phone for a -- more than half an hour and when Harry Reid left he said that there is no deal yet. But a face to face meeting does indicate some -- progress we also know is that this afternoon. McConnell and Harry Reid. As -- along with -- speaker Boehner and also Nancy Pelosi will be going to the White House at weekend for a meeting with the president. As you heard the president there he was. -- -- had his photo op with that. Workers have been furloughed are donating their time -- its food pantry but he also spoke about how serious. The possibility of default -- and I think most people think that there will be some sort of short more term deal signed but of course there are no guarantees because we are still. Very much at a standstill. The -- let me ask you -- this is the president had alluded to that he felt as if there was some progress being made in the senate. Com but given that meeting between the senate the senate leaders it it didn't seem to indicate. That same kind of confidence. Well what Harry leave it reads he's the left the meeting he did say that they were getting closer but that there is still no deal yeah. And that's of course -- -- the most important thing that there is no finalize -- and but meeting face to face does indicate to us that it might be. Moving a little further and that's I think what the president's reference. Sure -- let me ask you about this the possibility that was raised over the weekend about ties sequestration and any possibility of changing the those automatic cuts that are set to take effect in January is that now the new sticking point to these negotiations. It seems to be and you as you know. The sequestration cuts are attending that -- Democrats really want to undue. Weather -- be possible at this since this. Late stage of the negotiations Woolsey and it's but it very much of and other Republicans want to keep you wanna keep anything -- levels. And so that's kind of now the latest maneuver -- negotiation tactic that we're seeing. Let me ask you about this because in 2011 vice president Joseph Biden was called in when there was a budget impasse. Where is he -- Well -- I mean he's really and not just in budget negotiations -- other negotiations also over this year specially. He's really been a -- in chief and we've seen him. Almost as possible out of the president he's the one -- gone to capital looking at the one has been making it feels he's been very quite heat is going to be at this meeting at 3 o'clock. With the president -- also bear Lucy Mitch McConnell on read. But he has been. Really behind the scenes and there's been some reports -- some reporting last week that because Harry Reid and other senate Democrats. Felt that he was given to wait too much -- his past negotiations lethal he would. Gone too far. And that's why Harry Reid wanted to be targeted negotiations instead -- -- So what is on the scandal and for today for the house and for the senate. What -- both just won't reconvene until 2 PM which does seem. Quite extraordinary as that we're so close to to the default deadline but. A lot of house members and senators went back to their districts just for a few hours and they're gonna reconvene at UPM today. And it then at 3 o'clock we see that really important meeting at the White House win. And with a democratic leaders in the house and senate and the Republican leaders in the house and senate with the president and the vice president. And of course we'll be keeping all eyes on that and be tapping into huge -- for some information and insight. From that -- -- a loss from Washington DC -- thanks again for your time. Of course have a complete report on ABC news dot -- -- on Dan that's our New York with this piece digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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