Erika Johnsen

Speaker Boehner put some speculation to rest in a quick briefing this morning, confirming that there is no definite budget deal on the table, neither in public nor private agreement. The debt ceiling-soap opera continues on Sunday, when lawmakers will meet again at the White House. Who's pumped?

“There is no agreement in private or in public,” Boehner said at a morning press conference. “And as the president said yesterday,” he added, spreading his arms across his chest, “we are this far apart. It’s not like there is some imminent deal about to happen. There are serious disagreements about how to deal with this very serious problem.” ...

Multiple officials have told The Hill that Obama presented three options for raising the debt ceiling at a meeting with congressional leaders Thursday: a short-term extension he said he would veto, a medium-term extension that would achieve about $2.5 trillion in budget savings identified by the group of negotiators led by Vice President Biden, and a larger deal that would slash more than $4 trillion from the deficit over 10 to 12 years.

A source told The Hill that Obama made clear he prefers the $4 trillion package. The president thinks “they should go big and try to get the big one,” the source said. 

Boehner told reporters Friday that he also wants what he would describe as “the big deal.”

“But at the end of the day we’ve got to have a bill that we can pass through the House and the Senate,” the Speaker said. “This is a Rubik’s Cube that we haven’t quite figured out.”

As Allahpundit pointed out on HotAir yesterday evening, the Pharisaist-in-Chief has professed a new willingness to bring Social Security and Medicare reform to the bargaining table, a move that introduces a whole hydra of implications but mostly sounds like a, "See what a great compromiser I am?" Only time will tell.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.