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
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