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House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE (R-Ohio) told House Republicans in a letter that President Obama is “adamant” about raising taxes and would not agree to “fundamental changes” to entitlement programs.

White House officials said Friday evening that they were very close to getting a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling before BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE backed away.

“We were this close to settling” on an agreement, a White House aide said, holding his finger and thumb an inch apart.

In his Saturday message Obama once again said a "balanced approach to cutting the deficit" was needed.

"We need an approach that makes some serious cuts to worthy programs – cuts I wouldn’t make under normal circumstances – and we need an approach that asks everybody to do their part," he said.

"That’s the heart of this approach: serious cuts, balanced by some new revenues."