No new deal after White House meeting on debt limit

President Barack Obama meets with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Saturday, July 23, 2011, in Washington, to discuss the debt.
AP Photo
President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
President Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 23, 2011.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Updated 3:50 p.m. ET

President Obama and congressional leaders met at the White House Saturday morning to discuss ways for the U.S. to avoid default on its loans in 10 days, a day following the breakdown in talks between the president and House Speaker John Boehner on the so called "grand bargain" to raise the debt limit, cut spending and raise government revenue.

Today's meeting included House Speaker John Boehner; House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell; and Vice President Joe Biden.

There was no new deal following the meeting, which lasted about an hour, according to the White House. A statement from the White House said the leaders agreed to to talk to their respective members to continue discussions throughout the day.

Following the White House meeting, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the congressional leaders were committed to working on a new bill to "prevent default while substantially reducing Washington spending."

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"The president wanted to know that there was a plan for preventing national default," he said in a statement. "The bipartisan leadership in Congress is committed to working on new legislation that will prevent default while substantially reducing Washington spending."

In a statement, Boehner said Congress would "forge a responsible path forward" over the weekend.

"House and Senate leaders will be working to find a bipartisan solution to significantly reduce Washington spending and preserve the full faith and credit of the United States," the statement read.

Following the meeting, Boehner held a conference call with House Republicans. According to a participant on the call, Boehner said congressional leaders are working to have something new within the next 24 hours with deficit reduction in the $3-4 trillion range in two steps, reports CBS News Capitol Hill Producer Jill Jackson.

After returning to the Capitol, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Mr. Obama asked them to "come up with where we can find agreement to go forward to lift the debt ceiling."

"We've got to make every moment count," she added, reports Jackson.

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

According to the White House statement about the meeting, Mr. Obama restated his opposition to a short-term deal (which would cause the dispute to erupt again during the 2012 campaign), saying such a move could "cause our country's credit rating to be downgraded, causing harm to our economy and causing every American to pay higher credit cards rates and more for home and car loans.

"Congress should refrain from playing reckless political games with our economy," the statement said. "Instead, it should be responsible and do its job, avoiding default and cutting the deficit."

On Friday evening, Boehner informed the president he was walking away from their talks, prompting a string of press conferences and an immediate back-and-forth blame game.

"It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal and frankly, if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done," Mr. Obama said at his press conference last night just after 6 p.m. (Watch here)

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Mr. Obama said the deal included more than $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years to domestic and defense spending, plus $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). He said he wanted approximately $1.2 trillion in revenue increases over 10 years - mainly from eliminating loopholes and deductions.

Later in the evening, Boehner suggested the president "moved the goalposts" during discussions, saying there had been a closed-door agreement to increase revenues $800 billion through tax reform, but that Mr. Obama then insisted on an additional $400 billion.

"I can tell that you [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor and I were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue," Boehner said Friday night. "Secondly, they refuse to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. That's the bottom line." (Watch here)