ABC News’ Mary Bruce ( @marykbruce ) Reports:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney shot down reports this afternoon that President Obama and Speaker Boehner are close to reaching a deal to reduce the deficit.
“There is no deal. We are not close to a deal,” Carney definitively told reporters in Thursday’s daily press briefing.
The president continues to push for a “grand bargain,” buoyed by the bipartisan “Gang of Six” proposal that would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases.
“Obviously the president is in discussions with all the leaders of Congress, as well as other members, and exploring the possibility of getting the biggest deal possible, which is the position he has held for a long time now,” Carney said today.
“The fact is that there is no progress to report, but we continue to work on getting the most significant deficit-reduction package possible, because we believe that it's the right thing for the economy, and if done in the right way and a balanced way, it will be good for growth and good for job creation,” he added.
With just 12 days left to avert default and raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, time to reach a deal is running out. While the president believes there's sufficient time to negotiate a big deal, the White House signaled Wednesday that Obama might accept a short-term extension if it was linked to a larger deficit-reduction package.
As of now, there are no plans for the president to meet with congressional leaders at the White House today, but as Carney noted, “this is a fluid situation.”