AMANPOUR: This week, deadlock. Talks to reduce the government's debt collapsed as Republicans walk away, and the risk of global fiscal calamity grows.
SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: The Republicans should stop playing chicken. It's not good for our country or the world.
AMANPOUR: What will it take to break the impasse?
MCCONNELL: He's the president. He needs to lead.
AMANPOUR: As President Obama prepares to enter the fray, the
Senate's top Republican and a top House Democrat tell us what they need to make a deal. And the budget battle figures into the president's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is time to focus on nation building here at home.
AMANPOUR: Ten years of war, is the mission changing? Is success being redefined? That, and all the week's politics on our roundtable.
Plus, David Muir with barrier-breaking first lady Michelle Obama in South Africa. At the side of Nelson Mandela, she invokes both countries' struggles for racial equality.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: You cannot imagine how important your legacy is to who I am, to who my husband is. I just said thank you.
ANNOUNCER: Live from the Newseum in Washington, "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour, starts right now.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program. Senator Mitch McConnell joins me in just a moment. But first, some news since your morning papers. In North Dakota, the swollen Souris River is cresting at this hour, and waters are now seven feet above flood level, lower than expected but high enough to swamp 4,000 homes and force 11,000 residents to evacuate. The epic flooding is the worst the region has seen since 1881.
In New York, more than half a million jubilant gays and lesbians are expected at today's pride parade, the oldest in the country, and this year's march is a victory rally, coming just two days after New York became the largest state in the nation to York to legalize same-sex marriage.
And in Iowa today, the presidential race comes into sharp focus with the first snapshot of how voters are assessing the Republican candidates. The well respected Des Moines Register poll of likely caucus goers shows that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are locked in a statistical tie for first place. Pizza mogul Herman Cain comes in third, with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty trailing in single digits with just 6 percent.
And President Obama weighs into the contentious debate over raising the debt ceiling tomorrow when he meets one-on-one with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Their mission, to jump-start talks that broke down this week when Republicans walked away from the bargaining table.
Time is of the essence. On August 2nd, the government will run out of money to pay its bills, and the repercussions could be catastrophic.
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REID: The Republicans should stop playing chicken in pushing us too close to that line.
REP. JOHN A. BOEHNER, R-OHIO: If we meet to meet the president's timetable to come to an agreement by the end of this month, then he needs to engage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, the president engages tomorrow, as we said, when he meets face-to-face with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House.