President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner and his deputy Eric Cantor on Sunday to hammer out differences over a plan to raise the nation's legal borrowing limit and reduce the deficit over time.
"We're making progress," Mr. Obama told reporters in the Rose Garden on Monday when asked about the pow-wow with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday vowed to keep senators in Washington until lawmakers from both parties can come to an agreement to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2.
That's when the U.S. runs out of options to avoid defaulting on its debt obligations if the legal limit is not raised, according to the Obama administration and most economists, including Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, who served as a top adviser to President George W. Bush before taking the helm at the U.S. central bank.
Reid and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell are working on changes to the Kentucky lawmaker's proposal to raise the borrowing limit in exchange for a trio of politically unpopular votes on the government's spending limit between now and Election Day 2012.A CBS News poll released Monday showed that 71 percent of respondents disapprove of the way Republicans have handled the debt talks.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives this week plans to vote on its own more conservative proposal, though it is not expected to garner enough support to pass the Democratically-controlled Senate. The House plan, known as "cut, cap and balance," conditions an increase in the U.S. borrowing limit on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced budget each year.
The House plan would limit federal spending at 18 percent of economic output over the next decade, a figure House Republicans says is appropriate because it would place spending in line with average revenue over the last three decades.
Mr. Obama has threatened to veto that plan.