Debt Limit Talks: Boehner Wants 'Signs of Progress,' Says White House 'Won't Get Serious'


"Like the President and the entire bipartisan, bicameral Congressional leadership, we continue to believe that defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States is not an option," he said.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that "given the unprecedented size of the debt ceiling increase the President is requesting," this is "not an easy process," but he said negotiations continue.

There were displays of anger Friday night from Obama and Boehner after the Republican announced he was pulling out of the debt talks with the White House and instead would take up negotiations with Democratic Congressional leaders.

The meeting at the White House today had a noticeably lighter tone, with Obama commenting that the weather was too hot to play golf.

Republican aides tell ABC News that Boehner wants to have a strong deal to present to Congress by Monday, and that the plan currently being worked on calls for $3 trillion to $4 trillion in cuts.

Boehner said on a Congressional Republican conference call this afternoon that he is trying to avoid using a Senate plan that was crafted by McConnell earlier in the negotiations that would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling without Congress having to vote directly for the measure.

McConnell has said he's now working on a "new" deficit reduction plan.

His original plan, which the president has said he would accept as a last option to avoid default, has received strong criticism from many Republicans on Capitol Hill who hate the idea of giving the president the power to raise the debt ceiling.

While it appears increasingly unlikely that Boehner will be able to forge a major deal before the Aug. 2 deadline, Democrats are also calling for a long-term agreement.

"I will not support any short-term agreement, and neither will President Obama nor Leader Pelosi," Reid said in a written statement today. "We seek an extension of the debt ceiling through at least the end of 2012. We will not send a message of uncertainty to the world."

The $3.1 trillion White House deal that Boehner walked away from Friday included cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which Republicans wanted, but in the end, Boehner said Republicans could not agree to the revenue increases that the White House sought.

While the two sides were able to reach consensus on tax reforms adding up to $800 million, Boehner said last night the president moved the "goal posts" Thursday by asking for an additional $400 billion more in revenue increases.

"The president demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people," Boehner said.

But Obama said the additional revenue request wasn't why the talks failed.

"That wasn't the reason this thing broke down," Obama said. "When you look at the overall package, there's no changing of the goal posts here."

Pelosi said Republicans have held up the process because of their insistence that the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans not be ended.

"The delay in bringing forth a solution springs from the Republicans' decision to walk away from 98 percent of the American people to protect the assets of the top 2 percent of the wealthiest people in our country," she said.

"House Democrats have always been, and remain prepared to make the difficult choices necessary to reduce the deficit as we create jobs and protect Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries," she said. "But we will not make working families and the middle class sacrifice without also calling on everyone to contribute their fair share."

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