Boehner: No Budget Agreement
Update at 2:15 p.m. ET. Don't Point Fingers, Obama Says:
President Obama continues to speak with reporters about the ongoing impasse his administration is having with Congressional Republicans over how much to cut out of this year's federal budget. He was just asked: Who will be to blame if the government has to shut down at midnight Friday because its spending authority will have expired?
Americans want policymakers "to fix problems and offer solutions," the president responded. "They're not interested in finger-pointing and neither am I."
Update at 2:10 p.m. ET. Obama Says Only Politics Will Prevent A Deal:
"We are now closer than we have ever been to getting an agreement" on the budget, President Obama just told reporters at the White House. "The only question is whether politics or ideology are going to get in the way of preventing a government shutdown" at midnight Friday.
He and Vice President Biden and others in the administration are willing to "meet for as long as possible to get this resolved," Obama added.
Later this afternoon, he said, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). "If they can't sort it out, I want them back here tomorrow," the president said.
Update at 11:58 a.m. ET. Boehner Says It Was 'A Good Discussion,' But A 'Bad Deal':
In a statement just sent to reporters following the conclusion of the bi-partisan meeting at the White House with President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner's office says on his behalf that:
-- "While there was a good discussion, no agreement was reached."
-- "The Speaker told the president that the House will not be put in a box and forced to choose between two options that are bad for the country (accepting a bad deal that fails to make real spending cuts, or accepting a government shutdown due to Senate inaction)."
-- "As he has said for the past week, the Speaker reminded those present that there has never been an agreement on $33 billion as an acceptable level of spending cuts, and that $33 billion in cuts is not enough, particularly when it is achieved in large part through budget gimmicks."
Update at 11:52 a.m. ET. No Agreement, Boehner Says:
The Associated Press just moved an alert saying that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reports there was no "budget agreement" at this morning's meeting with President Obama at the White House.
Our Original Post:
President Obama is talking with congressional leaders at the White House about ending the federal budget impasse. There are more reports both sides are at loggerheads with a Friday deadline looming for a possible federal government shutdown.
House Republican leader Eric Cantor spoke earlier, and blamed Mr. Obama for rejecting a temporary spending bill that would have pushed the Friday deadline back a week: "The White House now has increased the likelihood of a shutdown in just dismissing out of hand a vehicle that we have put forward to say, 'Look, we do not want a shutdown.'"
NPR's Ari Shapiro tells NPR Newscasts Mr. Obama believes another short term spending bill only kicks the budget issue down the road again, and he doesn't want to keep signing bills that fund the government a week or two at a time.
Politico says House Republicans are preparing a pamphlet on who's essential and who must be furloughed. Reuters says the White House has begun directing government agencies to prepare for closure. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.