Barring a grand compromise, or even an a medium-sized package of spending cuts, party leaders could simply buy time
With the August 2 deadline for a deal on raising the debt ceiling almost out of reach, House Republican leaders are mulling a short-term debt-limit extension, leadership aides said.
As President Obama and congressional leaders scrambled to resolve the impending debt crisis, House aides suggested such a plan could buy a month or so for a larger deal to be worked out.
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"There is no way to reach the August 2 deadline," said one aide, adding that an extension until September may be the compromise until a larger deal is worked out. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) met at the White House on Wednesday night from 5:09 p.m. to 6:31 p.m. That get-together followed one in the afternoon between the president and House and Senate Democratic leaders.
All sides remained tight-lipped on the details of the negotiations after Obama's meeting with Boehner and Cantor. As of Wednesday evening, there were no meetings scheduled for Thursday.
House GOP leaders and Vice President Joe Biden have discussed cuts worth perhaps $1.5 trillion that could be part of a potential deal crafted by Senate leaders to allow Obama to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit. A GOP source tracking the talks said House leaders might also use the cuts in a stand-alone bill for a short-term extension. Cantor appears open to that possibility.