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Boehner, Reid: No deal yet, but negotiations continue

AP

House Speaker John Boehner, right, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid walk outside the White House to talk to reporters after their meeting with President Obama regarding the budget and possible government shutdown.

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Athena Jones
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), standing side-by-side, emerged from the White House moments ago to say that the two sides had still not yet been able to strike a deal.

There's "no agreement" yet, Boehner said, calling the meeting "polite" and "to the point." But both Boehner and Reid said talks will continue. Staffers will begin another round of negotiations at 3:00 pm ET, and the principals will return to the White House at 7:00 pm ET for more talks.

"We are continuing to work toward an agreement," Boehner said. "All of us believe we can get to an agreement, but we're not there yet."

Boehner reiterated that he asked President Obama to sign the bold stopgap measure he declared would "fund our troops and keep the government open."

“I did ask the president to sign the stopgap measure we passed to fund our troops and to keep our government open and I did express to the president my disappointment that he suggested he would veto that bill,” Boehner said. “Our goal is to reduce spending in order to lead to a better environment for job creation in America and I do believe that it's important that we take this moment and get the largest spending cuts possible that'll help our economy."

Republicans proposed, and just passed, a one-week continuing resolution that would cut an additional $12 billion in federal funding. President Obama has vowed to veto that. The bill has become a political football for Republicans, and is much more than a "troop-funding bill," as the GOP suggests. There are so-called "riders" in the bill that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, and more, that would do little to cut the deficit but are ideological elements important to the conservative base.

(Riders are defined by the U.S. Senate as: "Informal term for a nongermane amendment to a bill or an amendment to an appropriation bill that changes the permanent law governing a program funded by the bill.")

For context, that number is more than the last two CRs combined -- $10 billion over the last five weeks.

That stop gap bill would not have passed the Senate, according to Reid.

House Democrats have proposed to no avail a "clean" CR that would keep funding levels the same for a week. That is not likely to see the light of day in the Republican-controlled House.

"We'll see you back here at 7 o'clock," Reid joked at the beginning of his remarks. He said both sides "had a frank discussion" and said he is "disappointed we haven't gotten something done at this point." He stressed, "In a matter of a little more than 24 hours, unless we work something out, the government will shut down,” Reid said, before going on to cite a private-sector report that estimated even a temporary shutdown would pare 0.2% from the GDP. “We are going to continue to work to get this done. It's uh not easy to do, but it's doable and as I said we don't have a lot of time to do that.”

Reid added that he's hoping they will have a deal after they meet at 7:00 pm ET.