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Debt Limit Talks: Boehner Plan Expected to Cut $1 Trillion to $2 Trillion

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Congressional leaders met twice Saturday, frantic to make progress on a debt limit deal before Asian markets open, but both sides came away pointing fingers about who is to blame for the continuing deadlock.

The only thing both sides seemed ready to agree on this evening was that allowing the U.S. government to default was not an option.

The Congressional leaders met Saturday evening after attending a meeting at the White House in the morning. President Obama had demanded an afternoon update on the Capitol Hill negotiations.

Republican Speaker John Boehner told the House Republican conference in an afternoon conference call update that he "wants to be able to show signs of progress" by Sunday afternoon, about the time Asian markets are opening half a world away.

The idea is to reassure the world the United States will not drift into default Aug. 2 because of political stalemate in Washington.

But that's exactly what some in Washington see coming down the track.

Boehner's deal, still unannounced, apparently would send Obama the only thing he is flatly promising to veto: a two-stage debt ceiling extension that would raise the ceiling enough to avoid default this summer, but force a second vote during the tumult of the 2012 campaign.

White House press secretary Jay Carney didn't mince words in a midafternoon email about the progress of the negotiations.

"Congress should refrain from playing reckless political games with our economy," Carney said. "Instead, it should be responsible and do its job, avoiding default and cutting the deficit."

Republicans continue to insist that every dollar of new debt must be matched or exceeded by spending cuts. The coming Boehner plan is expected to be $1 trillion to $2 trillion, not the full $2.4 trillion Obama is seeking through 2013.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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