As shutdown drags on, time to call in mediator?
Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: Dusk falls on the U.S. Capitol September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. If House Republicans do not find common ground with President Obama and Senate Democrats on the federal budget by midnight, segments of the federal government will close, hundreds of thousands of workers would be furloughed without pay and millions more would be asked to work for no pay. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Photo: Image by Getty Images
WASHINGTON (AP) Maybe it's time to call in a mediator if there's one not on furlough.
President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress seem no closer to ending a partial government shutdown now in its second week. And a looming crisis over the federal debt limit is rapidly approaching, with economists saying that could have a devastating effect on the U.S. economy.
Mediation expert Rocco Scanza at Cornell University says the two sides need someone to create a "safe place" for them to talk so they can begin to get the government going again.
While the two sides are dug in, a mediator would focus on a bigger objective, which is allowing both sides to save face.
Moving away from the public spotlight could help the two sides find common ground.