Original: President Barack Obama’s meeting with congressional leaders Thursday was “pleasant,” according to Democratic leaders, and “composed and polite,” according to Republicans.It was a sharp contrast to yesterday’s negotiating session which ended with Obama lecturing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and a Democratic source said the firebrand GOP “didn’t say a word the whole meeting.”
A Republican aide familiar with the meeting said the group completed its review of the agreements reached during last month’s talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama told Congressional leaders he expected them to find agreement on the path forward over the next 24 to 36 hours, sources said, or else he would call them back for a meeting this weekend. The President said he and his staff would remain “on call.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at today’s press briefing that the meeting dealt with “reasonable savings that can be found in the health care entitlement programs; significant savings that can be found through the tax code.”
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner addressed the group saying the debt ceiling must be raised, and that Congress must “put in place a plan to deal with our deficit and debt,” the Republican source said.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly pressed Obama to “get serious” about reducing spending in a meaningful way.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly said after the meeting that another White House negotiating session will not be scheduled tomorrow. How added that his “contingency plan” was not discussed today.
Update: According to sources, Obama also reiterated his desire to reach “the biggest deal possible,” and is still clinging to hopes that a $4 trillion deficit reduction deal can be reached.
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