House GOP leaders announced there was no progress to report in debt-limit negotiations with the President Obama and congressional Democrats as Saturday evening approached.
A spokesman for House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) said GOP leaders have kept in contact with White House officials and Democratic leaders but they are no closer to a deal to raise the debt limit.
"We are keeping the lines of communication open with all parties. Meetings have been occurring, ideas are being exchanged and scenarios are being discussed. But there is nothing to report in terms of progress being made," said BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE spokesman Michael Steel late Saturday afternoon.
A Senate Democratic aide also said there was no progress to report and, as of 5 p.m. Saturday, no meetings had been scheduled for the next day.
That leaves Congress only 17 days to reach a debt limit before the nation is at risk of a default, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Geithner, however, has said that Congress could give the federal government special authority to borrow money to make Social Security payments after Aug. 2.
A White House official said earlier in the day that Obama and Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York woman arrested after allegedly spitting on Jewish children Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE have been in frequent communication with leaders and staff of both parties in the House and Senate.
Congressional aides predicted Friday that the principal negotiators might meet again on Sunday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.) is in town but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum MORE (R-Ky.) has traveled back to Kentucky.
It appears House Republican leaders are unlikely to sign on to any agreement that raises the debt limit before the lower chamber has the chance to vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance bill.
The legislation would cut $111 billion in fiscal year 2012, cap spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product by 2021 and require passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt limit is raised.
A House GOP leadership aide said the legislation would come up for a vote next week.
Any deficit-reduction deal linked to raising the debt limit would undercut political momentum for passing a balanced budget amendment, which requires two-thirds support of each chamber of Congress.
Republicans need at least 20 Democrats in the Senate vote vote for a balanced budget amendment.