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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.