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Thursday
Jul072011

Obama: Meeting with Leaders 'Very Constructive'

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said Thursday that he and congressional leaders had “a very constructive meeting” on the deficit earlier in the day, but that a deal has not yet been reached.

“People were frank. We discussed the various options available to us.  Everybody reconfirmed the importance of completing our work and raising the debt-limit ceiling so that the full faith and credit of the United States of America is not impaired,” Obama said in an appearance in the White House briefing room. “I want to emphasize that nothing is agreed to until everything's agreed to, and the parties are still far apart on a wide range of issues.”  

The leadership will work with their staffs over the weekend and reconvene at the White House on Sunday “with the expectation that at that point the parties will at least know where each other's bottom lines are, and will, hopefully, be in a position to then start engaging in the hard bargaining that's necessary to get a deal done,” Obama said.

The president said that the leaders came to the White House Thursday “in a spirit of compromise” and that “everybody acknowledged that the issue of our debt and our deficits is something that needs to be tackled now” before the hard Aug. 2 deadline to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit.  

Ultimately, Obama said everyone in the meeting acknowledged “there is going to be pain involved politically on all sides” to reach a deal of the nation’s deficit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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