Obama: 'Constructive' Budget Talks To Continue; Leaders To Meet Sunday
Saying that today's White House meeting with Congressional leaders was "very constructive," President Obama just announced that budget negotiations will continue through the weekend and that he'll be meeting with Congressional leaders again on Sunday.
And when they reconvene, Obama said, it will be "with the expectation that at that point, the parties will at least know where each others' bottom lines are."
Lawmakers, he added, know there will be "pain involved politically on all sides" in any agreement.
This follows word earlier today that the Democratic president and Republican leaders in Congress might have bridged most of the gap between their positions on how to shrink the federal deficit and, hopefully, start chipping away at the more than $14 trillion federal debt.
Update at 1:27 p.m. ET. No "Social Security Plan" From The White House:
Responding to reports earlier today that the president would be suggesting some type of changes to the Social Security program during these deficit reduction talks, White House spokesman Jay Carney just told reporters that is "simply not the case. The president's position on Social Security is today what it was in January. ... [That] Social Security is not a contributor to our short and medium-term deficit problem."
Carney said Obama is willing to talk about the need to strengthen Social Security, without slashing benefits, as part of a long-term discussion about spending — in other talks, presumably.
Update at 1:25 p.m. ET. White House Says Both Sides Will Compromise:
"No single plan is going to be the plan that emerges from these negotiations," White House spokesman Jay Carney just told reporters.
Update at 1:23 p.m. ET: Asked about a comment earlier in the day from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that everything is on the table except raising taxes on the American people, White House spokesman Jay Carney just said that behind closed doors at the meeting, "there was a constructive atmosphere." And, said Carney, "everyone recognizes" that deficit and debt reduction "requires balance."