17 Jul 2011

Further debt talks at White House

3:26 pm on 17 July 2011

President Barack Obama has held further private meetings with congressional leaders about debt levels and budget cuts.

The United States must raise its $US14.3 trillion debt ceiling if it is to borrow beyond 2 August and be able to pay its bills.

But the BBC reports that cross-party talks have so far failed to make a breakthrough and Mr Obama has warned time is running out.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have rejected the president's proposals to increase taxes.

They say they will not raise the debt limit unless Democrats agree to major spending cuts.

The White House said the president has discussed ''various options'' during Saturday's private talks with congressional leaders.