White House, GOP Still Far Apart on Debt Deal

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America's debt ceiling deadline is growing nearer, but the White House and congressional leaders remain far apart on any budget deal.

President Obama says he wants both spending cuts and new taxes. He met with lawmakers from both parties for an hour and a half Thursday, hoping to hammer out some kind of deal.

Obama told the leaders that they faced three options:

  • A small deficit reduction plan
  • A medium plan that would reduce deficits by $2 trillion over 10 years
  • Or a big agreement that would shoot for up to $4 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade

Obama indicated he preferred the largest number.

The president invited the two sides back to the White House for a rare Sunday meeting. He said Democrats and Republicans should be prepared to show their bottom-line demands when they return to the bargaining table.

"Everybody acknowledged that we have to get this done before the hard deadline of Aug. 2 to make sure that America does not default for the first time on its obligations," Obama said.

"And everybody acknowledged that there's going to be pain involved politically on all sides," he said.

Republicans want a broad range of cuts, including entitlement programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

Democrats are pushing tax increases, including $45 billion on oil and gas companies and $290 billion on wealthier Americans.

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