Budget Negotiations Continue in D.C.

By: ANDREW TAYLOR - Associated Press Writer
By: ANDREW TAYLOR - Associated Press Writer

President Barack Obama is calling House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid back to the White House Thursday for more budget negotiations aimed at heading off a government shutdown.

The White House says Vice President Joe Biden will also attend the 1 p.m. EDT meeting aimed at reaching a deal to fund the government before a deadline of midnight Friday.

Obama met with Boehner and Reid at the White House late Wednesday night for more than an hour. All parties said the meeting was productive but no deal was reached. Obama says the parties must move with urgency.

Thursday's meeting comes after Reid said on Capitol Hill that he was growing less optimistic about the prospect of reaching an agreement.

Meanwhile, Reid is blaming a potential government shutdown Friday night on Boehner's insistence on keeping conservative policy prescriptions on the environment and abortion in a must-pass government funding bill.

Reid said late-night negotiations have largely produced an agreement on how much to cut spending but that Republicans are insisting on rewriting the Clean Air Act and injecting abortion into the debate.

The Nevada Democrat said the policy provisions have no place on "a bill to keep the government running."

Among the abortion battles on the bill is a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions in Washington, D.C.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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