WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

The Hill's Alex Bolton: Bachmann Calls For Emergency Session, Pressure On Economy Builds

Play associated audio

The federal reserve offered a bleak assessment of the U.S. economy today, and that, combined with Standard & Poors' downgrade of the U.S.'s credit rating last week has prompted some to call for Congress to return from August recess for an emergency session. WAMU's Pat Brogan talks with Alex Bolton, senior staff writer from The Hill, about how effective that would be.

A call from Bachmann for Congress's return

House Republicans, notably 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, have called on Congress to come back and work out a plan that will ensure that the government doesn't default on its debt in 2013, when the current deal runs out.

Bachmann said that if she were the president she would call Congress back to work out a plan that would ensure U.S. creditors that they would be paid after 2013 and that social security recipients and members of the military would continue to be paid.

Such a plan could assuage fears from creditors, Bolton says, but at this point, with 2013 more than a year away, "there's really not a lot of urgency to do that."

Politics continues to paralyze the economy

In terms of other measures to counteract the falling markets, Bolton sees little likelihood of progress. "The problem is that there isn't much Congress can do," he says. "Democrats think the most reasonable way to boost the economy is to do another stimulus, and that's not just politically feasible in this Congress."

"I think that's one of the reasons the markets are so pessimistic right now," Bolton adds.

Advisers to President Obama have indicated it's unlikely he'll call for Congress to return. "The thinking is that Congress is probably more likely to be cooperative after they've had a little time to be away from each other," Bolton says. "Bringing them back into the partisan environment of Washington is probably not the the best solution."

Bolton: As election looms, it's only going to get worse

The ongoing difficulty of reaching an agreement on the government's finances is largely what led Standard & Poors to downgrade the U.S.'s credit rating Aug. 5, and that should create pressure on members for when they return, Bolton says.

"This message from Standard & Poors gives Democrats and Republicans strong incentive to cooperate," Bolton says. "But whether that will happen appears doubtful. If anything, things have gotten more partisan as the election nears."

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 9, 2015

Cuban dance, Spanish opera and Sephardic Jewish music provide Spanish-influenced entertainment this weekend in D.C.


Chef Paul Prudhomme Will Live On Through His Restaurants, Spices And Books

Chef Paul Prudhomme has died at the age of 75. He revolutionized Cajun and Creole cuisine and popularized it throughout the world, creating a craze for "blackened" everything.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.