President Obama, saying “we need to” resolve the debt reduction issue quickly, held a 75-minute meeting with congressional leaders Sunday that failed to end the impasse over how to dramatically cut deficits.
The bipartisan group did agree to reconvene today at the White House.
Congressional sources said the sides remain fixed: Democrats want a big, perhaps $4 trillion, deal that includes tax increases as well as spending cuts, but Republicans want any tax increases offset by other tax cuts.
Obama is scheduled to take his case for a sweeping fix to the American public early today at a news conference — his second on the issue in as many weeks. House Speaker John Boehner’s Saturday night decision to abandon efforts to seek the kind of grand bargain Obama wanted has not only thrown the talks into some turmoil, but has made it appear that Republicans are setting the agenda.
Boehner wants a deal that builds from savings discussed in the May/June talks headed by Vice President Joe Biden. Though no agreement was reached, the group is believed to have discussed packages of at least $1 trillion.