Vice President Joe Biden reports "progress" from an initial negotiating session on must-pass legislation cutting the budget and making sure the government can pay its bills.
Biden said "we're getting the process under way" as he exited a meeting with senior lawmakers. The more than two-hour session is the first session in what promises to be protracted talks aimed at producing legislation by an August 2 deadline to permit the government to borrow more money to pay its bills and meet its obligations to bondholders.
Republicans see the need to increase the so-called debt limit as an opportunity to enact spending cuts, though they concede that political reality forecloses significant cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare.
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