By Sam Youngman - 07/12/11 11:51 PM EDT
President Obama's meeting with congressional leaders over the debt ceiling Tuesday was more constructive than the others, a Democratic source said.
A Democrat familiar with the negotiations said the parties would meet at the White House again on Wednesday afternoon.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's "back-up plan" was mentioned, but not really discussed at the meeting, the official said.
The parties decided to put aside the "most contentious issues" from the past few days and focus on how they can use the Biden talks as the foundation for a deal.
The difference in Tuesday's discussion from Monday's meeting, the source said, was that Monday was about House Majority Leader Eric "Cantor's side" and Tuesday was more of a give and take.
McConnell's proposal would authorize Obama to raise the debt ceiling in three steps before the 2012 elections, but would not require any corresponding spending cuts. It met with derision from some conservative activists, but lawmakers held their fire.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised McConnell at the White House meeting for recognizing the urgency of raising the debt ceiling, but did not say she supported it. She said she will study it and still wants "the biggest deal" possible, according to an aide.
Cantor (R-Va.) said McConnell presented the plan and it was discussed but he declined to comment on it.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Calif.) told Fox News that that he believed McConnell had done good work with his plan, but said he didn't know whether it could pass the House.