'This Week' Transcript: Jacob Lew and Jon Kyl

Transcript: Jacob Lew and Jon Kyl

ByABC News
July 17, 2011, 11:55 AM

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2011 — -- CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: This week, stalemate in the debt talks as tensions sore and the clock ticks. (Begin video clip.)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I do not see a path to a deal if they don't budge, period.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): Where's the president's plan? When is he going to lay his cards on the table?

(End video clip.)

MS. AMANPOUR: Wall Street sounds the alarm, but the tea party remains defiant.

(Begin video clip.)

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot go on scaring the American people.

(End video clip.)

MS. AMANPOUR: Is a deal possible in this climate of partisan paralysis? Two men actually at the bargaining table join us this week, White House Budget Director Jack Lew and Republican Senator Jon Kyl. And the roundtable debates the bitter politics of the debt divide. Plus Rupert Murdoch under fire; heads roll at his media empire, but will that be enough to save it?

And in Africa, a cry for help, millions threatened by an epic drought, the worst in 60 years. We'll take you there. Then, we're live from Germany where the American women's soccer team has a shot at making history.

ANNOUNCER: Live from the Newseum in Washington, "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" starts right now.

MS. AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program. We've got lots to get to this morning but, first, some headlines since your morning papers. There is breaking news to report in London. The BBC has learned that Rebekah Brooks, until just days ago Rupert Murdock's top lieutenant in the U.K., has been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Earlier this week, Brooks resigned from her position as chief executive of News International in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that's rocking the Murdock empire. Much more on this developing story later in the program.

Casey Anthony is a free woman this morning. She walked out of jail just after midnight 12 days after she was acquitted of the murder of her daughter, Caylee. Anthony was met by jeering crowds and spirited off on a private jet to parts unknown.

And Tripoli, Libya, was rocked by explosions before dawn after a heavy round of NATO bombing. It's been four months since NATO launched attacks to force Moammar Gadhafi from power and still he hangs on defiant as ever still refusing to surrender while earlier this week, the U.S. government formally recognized the chief rebel group as Libya's legitimate government.

But first, we turn to the drama that has Washington tied up in knots, the battle over raising the debt ceiling. No White House meetings this weekend as the president and congressional Republicans retreated to their respective corners, but behind the scenes, furious strategizing is afoot in a bid to stave off economic catastrophe. This morning, there are reports of a resurrected grand bargain. So is a breakthrough on the horizon?

Joining me now, a man at the heart of these tense negotiations, White House Budget Director Jack Lew. Thank you for joining me.

JACK LEW: Good to be here, Christiane.

MS. AMANPOUR: How worried should the American people be? Is the country going to default? Is a deal at hand?

MR. LEW: I do not believe that responsible leaders in Washington will force us to default. I think that all the leaders of Congress and the president have acknowledged that we must raise the debt limit and the question is how.