Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented no deal being reached on the debt ceiling and solely blamed House Republicans: "Nobody has a plan that can get through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives....that's the issue. House Republicans don't like any of these ideas that are coming out of the Senate."
Co-host Matt Lauer wondered if a plan being worked out between Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid was "now dead" because of House GOP opposition. Todd floated a theory on how conservative members of Congress might fall in line: "...some sort of TARP-like moment...where the House voted down the big bailout of the banks, the markets reacted and then Congress voted again....that might be the only way something gets through the House....it actually probably would lead to the bigger deal after the near catastrophic financial reaction."
Here is a full transcript of the July 21 segment:
MATT LAUER: Meantime, in Washington, the temperature will soar today. This as talks heat up over finding a way to raise the debt ceiling with the deadline now just twelve days away. But the President and congressional Republicans may actually be moving further apart. Chuck Todd is NBC's chief White House correspondent and political director. Chuck, good morning to you.
CHUCK TODD: Good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Debt Deal Deadlock; President Calls for Separate Talks With Congress]
LAUER: So we listened to the President, the fact that he had separate meetings yesterday at the White House with Democrats and Republicans. The image that comes to my mind is divide and conquer. Any progress at all?
TODD: Well, it depends on how you define progress. Because in many ways we're in the same place that actually we were two months ago, three months ago, four months ago. Nobody has a plan that can get through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Not President Obama, not Speaker of the House John Boehner, and not Senator Mitch – Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.
And that's the issue. House Republicans don't like any of these ideas that are coming out of the Senate, whether it's this Gang of Six, big deal idea, or the backroom legislative gymnastic idea that Mitch McConnell has put together. In fact, they hate that idea so much that if there's one piece of optimism here, Matt, it is what's got them to decide, 'You know what? We're better off dealing directly with President Obama.'
LAUER: Yeah, this McConnell – this Reid-McConnell plan, 80 House Republicans got together, they signed a letter to Boehner and Cantor saying they don't like this deal at all. They're circulating the letter trying to get more signatures. Which brings the question up. If we get to the August 2nd deadline with no larger deal, the Reid-McConnell plan had been considered the fallback, the safety net. So is that now dead?
TODD: Well, no. But it could be this – it may be that House Republicans won't vote for it the first time. I've had many Republican members tell me this, Matt, which is the likelihood that we're going to see some sort of TARP-like moment, remember back in September of 2008, where the House voted down the big bailout of the banks, the markets reacted and then Congress voted again. I'm hearing more and more that that might be the only way something gets through the House. Now, under that circumstance, it actually probably would lead to the bigger deal after the near catastrophic financial reaction.
LAUER: Just explain one last thing in a few seconds, if you will. The White House suggested yesterday that the President might be in agreement with a short-term raising of the debt ceiling if he thought that larger plan was in the works. We have not heard that from the President's lips yet. Is it an option?
TODD: It has to be if he wants the bigger deal. The President wants one badly. You know, he's winning politically short term right now. But he knows he would lose politically if he doesn't get a bigger deal. So that's what he's trying to do, he's trying to buy time, Matt.
LAUER: Alright, Chuck Todd at the White House this morning. Chuck, as always, thank you very much.
TODD: You got it.
- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.