After a fifth meeting in five days failed Thursday to achieve a deficit reduction deal, President Barack Obama told top congressional leaders to reach an agreement on the way forward by early Saturday, officials said.
Obama will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday to discuss efforts to reach a deal on the debt ceiling and budget cuts, according to a senior administration official.
No formal negotiations are planned Friday.
Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.
Here are some of them:
1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)
Washington (CNN) - A fifth meeting in five days involving President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders failed to achieve a breakthrough on Thursday and no talks were planned for Friday, which the White House had called a deadline for deciding the way forward.
According to a source familiar with the debt conversations, who spoke on condition of not being identified, there will be no meeting Friday. There was no word on when the direct negotiations would resume.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Thursday's 80-minute session a good meeting and said, "We'll continue to discuss a way forward over the next couple of days and see what happens."
Earlier, the White House said the negotiators will have to shift their focus to increasing the federal debt ceiling if they fail to make significant progress by Friday toward a comprehensive deficit reduction deal that would cut spending and raise taxes.
Administration officials have warned that a failure to raise the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2 could trigger a partial default. If Washington lacks the money to pay its bills, interest rates could skyrocket and the value of the dollar could decline, among other things.
Republicans have tied their support for a debt ceiling increase to steps to reduce mounting federal deficits such as deep spending cuts and reforms to entitlement programs. Democrats agree on the need for a deficit reduction plan, but the two sides remain divided over the size and scope of a deal as time runs out for getting the debt ceiling raised to ensure the government can pay all its bills.FULL STORY
Editor's note: In The Buzz today, "Glee" stars to leave the show, Justin Timberlake propositioned by a Marine and Halle Berry seeks a restraining order.
New York (CNN) - Levi Aron, arraigned in a New York court Thursday on charges of murder and kidnapping in the first degree in the killing of an 8-year-old boy, was remanded under suicide watch until a mental evaluation is completed.
Aron, 35, showed no emotion as he entered the court handcuffed and did not enter a plea. He said earlier in a statement that he was sorry for the trouble he has caused, said New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Defense attorneys Pierre Bazile and Gerard Marrone told the court that Aron has said he hears voices and hallucinates. They requested an exam to determine whether Aron understands the charges, and asked authorities to keep him under suicide watch while he's in custody.
"I have sincerest concerns about the defendant's mental state and his cognitive abilities," Bazile said.
Aron's next court date is July 28.
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes had said he would ask a grand jury for the "maximum charges permitted by law" for "the vicious and callous murder and dismemberment of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky."
Police found human remains in Aron's freezer and a trash bin which they believe are those of the boy, who went missing Monday afternoon.
Kelly called the case "heartbreaking."FULL STORY
Editor's note: David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
(CNN) - With tempers near a boiling point and the risk growing that the United States could default on its debt obligations, it is time for a truce in the budget talks in Washington - essentially a cease-fire in place.
The outlines of a cease-fire are readily apparent, and indeed there are signs that behind the scenes some conversations are already taking place. Here's what a truce might look like:
• Democrats agree to accept some $1.5 trillion in spending cuts that have been on the table but give up their demands that a deal also include significant tax increases.
• Republicans agree to lift the debt limit by some $2.5 trillion, enough to carry past the 2012 elections, but give up their demands that spending cuts must match or exceed the debt-limit increase dollar for dollar.
• Both sides agree to close tax loopholes and raise fees for government services, but agree to use the resulting revenue for offsetting payroll tax decreases and other means of pumping life in the economy, thus making the proposition revenue-neutral.
• Both sides agree that this fall, a new set of negotiators be appointed to press forward with additional ways to achieve credible, long-term deficit reductions.
A deal like this certainly won't meet the full expectations of Washington warriors, but it will be good for the country - and arguably, a lot better for the parties than their partisans may think.MORE
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - House Republicans who refuse to consider tax increases as part of a debt ceiling deal are out of step with most Americans, according to two new polls.
That's bad news for Republicans who are betting the farm on resisting Democratic efforts to raise taxes on the rich.
When looking to reduce debt, politicians can employ two tactics. The first is to cut spending. The second is to raise taxes. Most budget experts say you need to do both.
But House Republicans - an overwhelming majority of whom have signed a pledge to this effect - refuse to consider any kind of tax increase, not matter who it hits.
Turns out, most Americans don't share their conviction.
A full 67% of Americans favor a deal to raise the debt ceiling that includes taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.
And according to Gallup, only 20% of Americans want a deal that consists only of spending cuts. That's the position of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and many of his colleagues.
Instead, most Americans want the deal to include a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, something that is much closer to the bargaining position staked out by Democrats.
What kind of tax increases are being discussed?FULL STORY on CNNMoney.com
Orlando (CNN) - Casey Anthony will take invoke her Fifth Amendment rights if forced to sit for questioning in a defamation case two days after her upcoming release from jail, her attorneys said in a court motion Thursday.
Anthony, who was acquitted last week of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, is being sued by a woman whose name she gave to police as her child's nanny. Lawyers for the woman, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, have asked a judge to make Anthony sit for a deposition in that lawsuit on Tuesday.
But Anthony's lawyer in the civil case, Charles Greene, said his client can't be forced to sit for a deposition so soon after a "grueling" trial that left her "emotionally and mentally exhausted." In addition, he said the deposition is scheduled on a day that he will be in trial on another case, and that Anthony "would have no viable choice but to assert her Fifth Amendment rights" if the proceeding goes ahead.
"Given the inadequate time to prepare and discuss the issues, that would likely be the only advisable course of action," he wrote. "Consequently, the deposition would be nothing more than yet another media spectacle and frenzy."
Anthony was found not guilty of killing Caylee on July 5 but was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators probing the girl's disappearance. The verdict stunned observers of the highly publicized trial.