WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says back-channel talks with congressional leaders last weekend have produced new progress in advance of a White House session Thursday on deficit reduction.
The president is siding with House Speaker John Boehner in insisting that negotiators resist the temptation to "kick the can down the road" and settle for a makeshift, short-term solution to stave off a first-ever U.S. default next month.
The government needs to raise the so-called debt limit to avoid a default on its financial obligations. Republicans want deficit cuts in the range of at least $2.4 trillion over 10 years to offset the amount of new government borrowing needed simply to avoid another vote before 2013.
Obama met with Boehner on Sunday, the first session since Republicans abandoned negotiations last month.
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