White House: Deficit Talks In ‘Abeyance,’ ‘May Or May Not Resume’

Jun 23, 2011 3:21pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce reports:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today that the deficit talks “are essentially in abeyance for now” and that they “may or may not resume in different forms.”

Carney made clear that the negotiations over how to pay down the government’s $14 trillion budget deficit were always going to reach this point. “It is not as though this negotiating group could simply declare into law what they agreed on. So the process was always going to have to proceed out of the negotiating room and move forward with the engagement of the Speaker, Senate Leaders, House Minority Leader, the President, et cetera,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Fort Drum, N.Y.

Earlier today, top Republican negotiators walked out of the debt talks led by Vice President Biden after they reached an “impasse” over the Republicans’ opposition to raising taxes.

"Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement.

With the August 2 deadline to raise the debt limit looming, Speaker of the House John Boehner insisted that “this is the moment” for the President to step in. "I would expect to hear from him," he said.

Looking ahead, Carney did not have any “announcement about specific talks” to come in the near future.

“These talks were designed to find areas of common ground… A lot of progress has been made. Obviously part of the design of this was to find areas of agreement and common ground and identify areas of disagreement which could then be referred to the leaders in Congress, the leaders, obviously to the president and try to work out some of the areas of disagreement. So, these talks are in abeyance, but we expect going forward that we will continue to address these issues in search of a compromise,” he said.

Carney also confirmed that the President met with Speaker Boehner last night to discuss a variety of issues and follow up on the conversation they had last Saturday on the golf course.

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