A bipartisan debt deal just about impossible now
The pressure was on all day in Washington to reach a debt ceiling agreement before the markets started opening in Asia.
After a Republican deadline for reaching a deal came and went late this afternoon, President Barack Obama invited the two top Congressional Democrats - but no Republicans - to a White House meeting.
CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that with time running out, House Speaker John Boehner said if he could not reach an agreement with Democrats by tonight, Republicans would roll out their own plan.As deadline looms, Congress scrambles for debt limit deal
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"I would prefer to have a bipartisan approach to solve this problem. If that is not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday."
Boehner says a Republican bill would likely involve two steps: A short term extension of the debt ceiling accompanied by a package of spending cuts; Then, later, another extension in six months or so after Congress can identify more cuts.
On CBS' "Face the Nation," Arizona Senator Jon Kyl said that would satisfy the Republican aim of offsetting any increase in the debt ceiling with equal or greater cuts in spending.
"If we can reduce spending by a trillion dollars, then we extend the debt ceiling a trillion dollars worth and that would take it at least through the end of the year," Kyl said.
However, the president warned on Friday he would veto that approach. He has called for a one-time, $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.
"We have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013," Mr. Obama said.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner argued today that anything less would inject too much uncertainty into a weak economy.
"We can't adopt an approach that leaves the threat of default hanging over the country for another six months or so. That would be deeply irresponsible to do," Geithner said on ABC's "This Week."
Both sides blame the other for dragging the economy to the brink over raising the debt ceiling, a typically uneventful affair Congress has successfully carried out more than 70 times.
Democratic Illinois Senator Dick Durbin expressed frustration at the debt talks impasse, saying on "Face the Nation": "I would just say to Speaker Boehner, the president negotiated with you in good faith, twice, and you walked away from it. At some point the speaker has to accept the responsibility beyond his caucus to this nation."
Democratic sources say the two sides have reached an impasse and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has begun preparing his own plan.
Any hopes the president and the Speaker will reunite for further talks are all but over. Boehner said Sunday evening that the path forward does not include an agreement between him and the president.
- Nancy Cordes
Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.Follow on Twitter »
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