President Obama is asking congressional leaders and staffers to work on budget negotiations over the weekend and return to the White House on Sunday to try to hammer out a compromise.
“The parties are still far apart on a wide range of issues,” Obama told reporters after a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Thursday.
“I will reconvence congressional leaders here on Sunday with the expectation, at that point, the parties will at least know where each other's bottom lines are and hopefully… [be able to begin] engaging in the hard bargaining.”
Obama assured that a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling will be reached by Aug. 2, the deadline by which U.S. Treasury officials say the government could default on it's debt without congressional action.
“Everybody acknowledged we have to get this done before the hard deadline of Aug. 2,” Obama said. The president has previously warned that Republicans might block a vote on raising the debt ceiling if they don't get what they want out of deficit-reduction negotiations.
“People were frank,” he said. “Everybody reconfirmed the importance of completing our work.”