CORRECTION: The White House issued a correction for the quote President Obama gave on prospects for a debt deal.
Their goal significantly diminished but their urgency unabated, President Obama and top congressional leaders resumed their search for a deficit compromise in an unusual Sunday night session at the White House.
The talks resumed in the Cabinet Room shortly after 6 p.m. with the participants in sports casual clothes but their talking points in midweek form and well polished from the Sunday morning talk shows. When the meeting was announced last week, the president was still pressing for “a grand bargain” that would produce $4 trillion in spending cuts, take the first step toward tax reform, and begin reining in entitlement spending.
But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, bowed to the will of his conservative caucus on Saturday and ruled out anything that ambitious, blaming Democratic demands for tax increases and urging that the two sides adopt the more modest spending cuts outlined in the talks that Vice President Joe Biden had been leading in recent weeks.
The president signaled his sense of urgency when a reporter asked him if he can get a deal done in the next 10 days. He responded, “We need to.”