An urgent Saturday morning White House debt talks meeting between President Obama and Congressional leaders ended after less than an hour, with both sides remaining in a stand-off and pledging to keep working through the weekend.
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President Obama continued to press the leaders for a grander bargain rather than a short-term extension of the debt ceiling so the nation would not default, arguing that such a stopgap step could cause the country's credit rating to be downgraded, harming the economy and causing every American to pay higher credit cards rates and more for home and car loans.
"As the current situation makes clear, it would be irresponsible to put our country and economy at risk again in just a few short months with another battle over raising the debt ceiling," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement after the meeting. "Congress should refrain from playing reckless political games with our economy. Instead, it should be responsible and do its job, avoiding default and cutting the deficit."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a conference call with rank-and-file Republicans in which he said he was hoping to forge a deal to wrangle between $3 trillion and $5 trilion in savings and would prefer to avoid falling back on the so-called "McConnell Plan" that would hand over authority to raise the debt ceiling to the President with Congress able to disapprove only with a two-thirds majority vote, according to a breaking news alert from Politico.
During the call, the Speaker also pledged to help avert a crisis in the Asian markets by making a statement within 24 hours about the status of raising the debt limit.