Deal on debt ceiling 'not close', says White House
A spokesman for US President Barack Obama has denied reports that Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal on raising the US debt ceiling as an August 2 deadline to avoid a default draws closer.
REUTERS - The White House said on Thursday it saw momentum for a “balanced” deficit deal, but it denied reports that President Barack Obama and Republican House of Representatives speaker John Boehner were close to a pact.
The New York Times reported that the Obama administration had informed Democratic congressional leaders that Obama and Boehner were starting to close a “major budget deal” with substantial spending cuts and a tax overhaul.
White House officials said the report was wrong.
“We are not close to a deal,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Carney said, however, that the White House believed there was momentum behind the idea of what Obama has called a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, which would include some tax increases—a scenario most Republicans oppose.
“We believe there is momentum behind the idea of a balanced approach to a significant agreement,” Carney said.
Discussions were ongoing, he and other officials said.
“While we are keeping the lines of communication open, there is no ‘deal’ and no progress to report,” a spokesman for Boehner said.