The Presidential Planner: What if There Is No Debt Deal?

Jul 28, 2011 8:08am

ABC News Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

With the clock ticking, and still no compromise to avert default, today President Obama will meet with Treasury Secretary Geithner.

On Wednesday, the White House signaled that the Treasury Department would need to start making decisions about which financial obligations to fulfill if the country defaults on Aug. 2.

“I just know that obviously…as part of due diligence and responsible governance, that they have to make those assessments, and you know, at some point closer to Aug. 2, you know, there would be a discussion of that,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

Those decisions would include funding for veterans, Social Security checks and disability payments, among other things.

“It's a ‘Sophie's Choice,’ right?…Who do you pay? That's an impossible situation that this country has never faced, and should never face if Congress does what it was elected to do and does its job,” Carney concluded, comparing the choices Treasury might face to the life or death decisions depicted in the William Styron novel.

For the third day in a row, the president has no public events scheduled for today and will spend most of his Thursday in closed-door meetings. In addition to his Oval Office meeting with Geithner, Obama will also meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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