The 3 reasons debt talks have failed

The long faces of the president and congressional leaders said it all Saturday. They had spent an hour trying to pick up the pieces after talks collapsed on Friday, and apparently made little progress.

CBS News correspondent Bill Plante reports that with a "grand bargain" to cut spending and reform the tax code off the table for now, the focus today was on finding a way to prevent the government from defaulting - and financial markets from panicking. With Congress now scrambling to find a solution, the president asked for progress reports throughout the weekend.

After House Speaker John Boehner pulled out of the talks, an angry President Barack Obama complained he'd been left at the altar.

"One of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is, can they say yes to anything?" Mr. Obama said.

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Boehner, just as irritated, accused the president of bad faith.

"The White House moved the goal post. There was an agreement on some additional revenues," Boehner said.

White House senior officials said talks broke down over three issues:

1) Republicans thought they had agreement to raise $800 billion in new revenues over 10 years. The White House wanted 1.2 trillion.

2) The two sides disagreed over the scale of cuts to the Medicaid program.

3) Democrats objected to a provision that would get rid of the requirement that all Americans be covered by the health care law if Congress did not agree to further cuts.

In a statement following today's meeting, the White House released a statement calling on Congress to "refrain from playing reckless political games with our economy," and emphasized the president's strong opposition to a short-term extension of the debt ceiling, saying "it would be irresponsible to put our country and economy at risk again in just a few short months."

The remarks echoed something Mr. Obama had said earlier.

"The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013," Mr. Obama said.

That election is very much on everyone's mind. The Speaker's office shot right back that it would be too bad if the president vetoed a short-term increase in the debt limit because the timing wouldn't be ideal for his re-election campaign.

  • Bill Plante

    Bill Plante is a CBS News Senior White House Correspondent

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