President Obama is debating whether to call congressional leaders to the White House on Saturday to try to make headway in the talks over the nation's debt ceiling.
White House and congressional leaders took a break from meetings on Friday so that each side could meet with its members. The president had said that both parties would work through the weekends to reach agreement on raising the nation's debt ceiling, but so far the discussions have reached an impasse.
Obama is pushing for a deal that raises revenues and cuts spending—a so-called "big" deal that the administration has argued would cut over a trillion dollars over time; Republicans have categorically opposed raising taxes in the discussions, and last Saturday House Speaker John Boehner suggested that a smaller stop-gap deal might be needed to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debts.
During a Friday news conference, Obama said he had not given up on reaching agreement on a plan he favored.
"I am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal,” he said. “Let’s still be ambitious.”
Obama described a proposal offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as “the fallback position ... the least attractive option” because it only deals with raising the debt limit and does not address cutting spending.
McConnell's proposal amounts to a legislative maneuver that would allow for the president to raise the debt ceiling without Congress.
“If we take that approach, this issue is going to continue to plague us for months and years to come,” Obama said.