By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. 


WASHINGTON, June 26 – The on again, off again budget talks move to a new level this week, with President Barack Obama scheduled to meet Monday morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the afternoon.


The Monday meetings are intended to “find common ground on a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” the White House said in a statement.


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday that it is important to remember “that it is extremely dangerous to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States government.  We remain very confident that Congress will act responsibly and maintain the full faith and credit of the United States government by raising the debt ceiling.”

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who appeared on ABC'S ‘This Week with Christiane Amanpour’ this morning, also signaled a willingness to craft a deal before the August 2 deadline for increasing the federal debt limit.

“Well, we'd like to wrap this up. One of the reasons we are meeting tomorrow is that I think both the Democrats and the Republicans would like to come together and finish this negotiation and finish it sometime soon. It need not necessarily go to the 11th hour.”

But he also made it clear that Republicans plan to hold the line on tax increases.

“Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass. I mean, putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either,” added McConnell.

For more hearings and events this week:

Monday June 27, 2011: 


The Senate is in session at 2 p.m.


This week, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Merrigan will lead USDA’s delegation and deliver remarks at the 37th Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Conference in Rome, Italy, where the new FAO director general will be elected.  


USDA Reports: Poultry Slaughters, Peanut Stocks and Processing, Crop Progress


Tuesday June 28, 2011:


10:00 a.m., Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security entitled, “The DREAM Act”. 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will hold a hearing entitled, “Status of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment”. 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


2:45 p.m., Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold a hearing titled, “The State of Livestock in America”. 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


President Obama will visit Alcoa Davenport Works Factory in Bettendorf, Iowa, to tour the facility and discuss the critical role that the manufacturing sector plays in the American economy.  


Wednesday June 29, 2011:


Secretary Vilsack will take aerial tours of the Pacheco Canyon Fire and Wallow Fire as well as meet with regional stakeholders and command teams in AZ and NM. 


USDA Reports: Agricultural Prices, Broiler Hatchery


Thursday June 30, 2011:


10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight: Review of EPA Regulations Replacing the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)”. 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing entitled, “Stakeholder Perspectives on Reauthorizatin of the Export-Import Bank of the United States”. 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing entitled, “Perspectives on Deficit Reduction: A Review of Key Issues”. 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


USDA Reports: Acreage, Grain Stocks, Rice Stocks, U.S. Export Sales, Egg Products, State Export Data


Friday July 1, 2011:


USDA Reports: Dairy Products, Peanut Prices


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