TODAY   |  October 06, 2013

When will the political stalemate end?

The stakes in the government shutdown are rising, with the debt ceiling debate looming and no indication that the White House and Republicans will be able to come together. “It’s really a case of who blinks first,” said TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, reporting from her post on NBC’s “Meet the Press”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> savannah guthrie is filling in for david gregory as moderator of "meet the press." good morning. good to see you down there.

>> good morning to you.

>> we keep saying, savannah, the two sides don't really have anything, an agreement right now, but i keep thinking, surely they have an exit strategy in the back of their mind and just waiting to pull the trigger. am i being naive?

>> you're not being naive. i think you're being optimistic. and would that be the case? but i have to tell you, being on the phone with people in both parties this weekend, it is clear to me, there is no resolution on the horizon. there is no deal being talked about in the back rooms. this seems to be something where we're in it for the long haul. the government remaining closed. and now, lester, we have this other looming deadline that kristen just mentioned, october 17th , the debt ceiling has to be raised. otherwise, the u.s. could go into default, something that most economists who look at it say would be calamitous for the economy. so the stakes are actually getting higher. and at the moment, there is no solution in sight.

>> and the other head-scratcher here, what happened to majority rules ? we're talking maybe 30 to 40 republican headliners holding this up. speaker boehner has the votes, if he wants to go forward, doesn't he?

>> oh, he does. i mean, if he would right now put a clean budget resolution on the floor of the house , there would be enough moderate republicans and then democrats, they would probably get to the 218 votes they need. but the fact of the matter is, boehner is not going to do that right now and have to do the same thing two weeks later on the debt ceiling. so the republican strategy right now seems to be, merge those two issues together and then if boehner and the republicans so oh take a tough vote, they can do it at the same time. but they want some kind of concession from the white house . and this is where president obama is getting on riskier territory. his position has been, i'm not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling, and i'm not going to negotiate on reopening the government. and how long can that last? it's really a case of who blinks first.

>> all right. tell us what's coming up this morning on "meet the press," savannah.

>> treasury secretary jack lew will talk about the consequences to the economy from the shutdown and also a potential default. and then we'll talk to senator rand paul, somebody who early on said he doesn't want the government shutdown , but, of course, what is the most vocal opponents of the president's health care plan. and we'll also talk about those two terror operations in africa over the night, talk about that with mike looider.