July 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM CDT - Updated August 27 at 12:06 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he and Congress "need to" agree on a budget deal in 10 days in order to meet an Aug. 2 deadline to increase the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a potentially calamitous government default.
Obama spoke as he and the eight top House and Senate leaders assembled at the White House for a rare Sunday session to negotiate the terms of a deficit reduction package.
The meeting came a day after House Speaker John Boehner abandoned efforts to bargain for a $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction agreement. Boehner said a smaller deal that would reduce the deficit by about $2.4 trillion over the next decade was more realistic.
Obama aides said Sunday the president would still push for as big a package as possible.
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