| WASHINGTON, July 15
WASHINGTON, July 15 Amid the sound and fury of
the debt-ceiling debate, the most influential person may be the
one who didn't say a word in public on Friday.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell stayed away from
microphones and bright lights on Friday as President Barack
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner accused each other in
dueling news conferences of not having a "serious" plan to
avert an imminent default.
The Senate was officially out of session, but Democratic
and Republican staffers continued work on McConnell's plan that
may yet steer the ship of state away from the iceberg of fiscal
That plan, described as a "backup" by McConnell when he
introduced it on Tuesday, is increasingly seen as the only
possible way to agreement in a rancorous partisan environment.
Obama and Boehner haven't exactly embraced the plan, but
they're not dismissing it either. Obama said it would "at least
avert Armageddon" -- which at this stage in the debate might
count as a victory.
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Here are our top stories from Washington:
Obama, Republicans trade demands for debt plan
President Obama and Republicans traded demands for a
serious deficit plan, as a stalemate deepened in negotiations
to avert a looming default. [ID:nN1E76D26R]
Cantor upstaging Boehner in debt talks
John Boehner is being upstaged in the battle to raise the
debt limit by his younger and more partisan deputy, who is
widely seen as wanting his job. [ID:nN1E76E1GQ]
Obama urges compromise to ease way for trade deals
President Obama urged Republicans to pave the way for quick
approval of trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama
by cooperating to extend a program to help workers who have
lost their job because of trade. [ID:nN1E76E0RN]
Gloomy U.S. consumers cast dark cloud over economy
Consumer confidence hit a near 2-1/2 year low in early July
and manufacturing output stalled in June, further frustrating
expectations of a quick economic rebound in the second half of
the year. [ID:nN1E76E0DF]
Senate bill would kill stock option tax break
A tax code loophole that gives corporations large
deductions on executive stock options would be closed under
newly proposed legislation. [ID:nN1E76E1MJ]
(Editing by Todd Eastham)