Obama Hosts Last-Ditch Debt Talks


U.S. President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders Saturday for last-ditch White House talks on forging a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling, officials said.

The talks with Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as well as Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell broke up after about 50 minutes.

Vice President Joe Biden also participated in the Cabinet Room meeting which came just a day after talks collapsed as part of efforts to avoid an August 2 debt default.

It was not immediately known if any progress had been made on Saturday as Congress leaders left the building without making any statements.

Obama called the emergency White House summit late Friday after the talks on forging a compromise blending ambitious deficit-cutting plans with raising the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt limit broke down amid angry finger-pointing.

Ahead of Saturday's negotiations, Obama renewed his demand that any final deal raise tax revenues from the rich and wealthy corporations, a proposal fiercely opposed by his Republican foes who quit the talks over the issue.

"That's the heart of this approach: serious cuts, balanced by some new revenues," the president said in his weekly address, forecasting "plenty of haggling over the details in the days ahead."