The White House and the Congress go into the weekend amid mounting desperation for a deal to raise the debt limit and end the government shutdown, which is in its 12th day now.
There are a few plans on the table and, more importantly, a willingness to keep talking till a deal was in sight, with a debt default deadline just five days away.
US treasury has said it will run out of money if its ability to borrow was not raised from the current limit of $16.7 trillion, before October 17, forcing the country to default.
President Barack Obama has been meeting congressional Republicans and Democrats in an effort to find a deal. He met Republican senators on Friday.
He also spoke to the House Speaker John Boehner over the phone. They “agreed that all sides need to keep talking”, said the White House press secretary Jay Carney.
House Republicans have suggested a plan to raise the debt limit for six weeks in return for broader talks on spending cuts, which included programmes backed by the president.
The White House rejected that plan on Saturday.
The Democrat-led Senate has suggested a plan raising the debt limit for a full term, lasting until next November, against nothing more, and it’s unlikely to be accepted.
Some Republicans in the senate are working on a bipartisan plan to raise the debt limit for longer than envisaged in the House plan, and reopen the government.
In return, negotiations will have to be launched on a longer-term budget talk, with a progress report deadlined for January. And postpone a part of the president’s ambitious health plan.