This Sunday's guests on "Face the Nation" are White House Chief of Staff William Daley, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Senators Mark Warner, D-Va., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
As if things couldn't appear to have gotten any worse, thehave left most everyone in Washington shaking their heads and more in doubt than ever that the government could avoid defaulting on its debts.
It started with the 5:31 phone call from House Speaker John Boehner to President Obama telling him that the House Republicans were pulling out of talks with the White House that appeared to be making progress on a significant deficit reduction package of over $3 trillion.
"The president is emphatic that taxes have to be raised.... The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs," wrote Boehner in a letter to his Republican colleagues.
"For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward," he wrote.
Within minutes of the letter coming out, President Obama went to the White House briefing room and angrily denounced the action of the Republicans.
"This was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. But in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, I was willing to take a lot of heat from my party and I spoke to Democratic leaders yesterday and although they didn't sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations despite a lot of heat from a lot of interest groups around the country in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem," said the president.
"It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal and frankly, if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done. In fact, there are a lot of Republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done," he said.
The president was so seemingly upset about the developments that he ordered all of the congressional leaders back to the White House for another round of in person negotiations Saturday.
Before the breakdown though, leaders appeared to be on the path to some progress this week with actions taken on variety of plans to raise the nation's debt ceiling which looks less likely to happen with only 11 more days before the August 2nd deadline.
This week, House Republicans passed their balanced budget amendment -- only to see it fail in the Senate. Senate leaders were said to be working on their "plan b" approach that would have allowed Mr. Obama to raise the debt ceiling possibly in exchange for a smaller package of spending cuts. Meanwhile, the "Gang of Six" the bipartisan Senate group came out with their plan, that for a few hours seemed to garner support from all sides and was reminiscent of the "Grand Bargain" that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have been pushing for.
The Gang of Six plan includes nearly $4 trillion in cuts coupled with reforming the tax code, closing loopholes and ending deductions to lower tax rates and make the system more fair.
While nearly every House Republican has come out against any increased tax revenues, the Gang of Six, now called the G6, plan got initial support from many Senate Republicans, as well as the president himself who called the plan "good news." But others have warned that there's not enough time to hash out all of the details from the group's plan including a complex and significant package of tax reform.
But behind closed doors, the White House and the House Republican leadership was working on the deal that fell apart late Friday. Republican sources say they had agreed to a deal in principle but then after the gang of six's proposal was released, the White House pushed back for more revenue in the form of closing tax loopholes and ending certain deductions. That was too much for the Republicans who as President Obama put it, "left him at the alter."
And while the White House has been adamant that a deal get done by the August 2nd deadline, Spokesman Jay Carney said for the first time that the president would sign a short term-debt ceiling increase of only a few days, if it was needed to buy more time to get a larger package through Congress.
The president it put it bluntly tonight: "We have run out of time," and he said that congressional leaders are coming to the White House tomorrow "are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default."
So what happens now? Will there be a deal or will the nation default on its loans for the first time in history? That's the big question facing Washington this weekend. Can a deal get done? What would it entail? Will the debt ceiling be raised and spending get cut in exchange for the promise of additional revenues?
Those will be among the issues discussed as White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Senate Whips Jon Kyl and Richard Durbin, and Senate Gang of Six leaders Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss Face the Nation this Sunday, July 24th.