The weekend leading up to a marathon meeting between Congressional leaders and the president Sunday night is quickly turning into a display of who can make the most noise.
Beginning with a secret meeting between President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last Sunday, momentum toward making a deal to cut trillions of dollars from the deficit while averting an Aug. 2 government default appears stronger than it has been since the budget talks led by Vice President Joseph Biden broke down last month, sources close to Congressional leaders say. Those same people also acknowledge that whatever bargain might be struck will be up to Boehner and Obama.
However, that reality has not stopped others from trying to influence a closed-door debate from the proverbial hallways. And the clashing voices do not appear to be helping shore up anyone's place at the bargaining table.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.