White House: Debt deal not close
The White House on Thursday denied reports that a deal on the debt crisis had been reached and said US President Barack Obama was still hopeful for a large, deficit-busting agreement, DPA reported.
"We are not close to a deal," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "The breaking news report is incorrect. There is no progress to report."
Lawmakers and the White House are wrestling over raising the 14.3-trillion-dollar debt ceiling before an August 2 deadline set by Obama's Treasury Department, and whether it will be coupled with a deficit-reduction deal.
The country faces default if the debt ceiling is not raised. Carney was confident that the limit would be raised by Congress, whether or not a deficit-reduction deal is reached.
"What's not in doubt is that Congress will act, to ensure the debt ceiling is raised and we will avoid default," Carney said. "The only question is what kind of deficit package (will go through)."
The tug of war over a plan that would lower the deficit by up to 4 trillion dollars over the next decade pits Republicans refusing to support revenue increases against Democratic resistance to cutting pensions and other social spending.