Obama Calls Party Leaders to White House Thursday for Deficit Summit

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the 20th anniversary of the Rev. Al Sharpton's organization National Action Network on April 6, 2011 in New York City. With about 19 months to go until the 2012 presidential election, President Obama launched his reelection campaign last Monday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This afternoon President Barack Obama called eight leading legislative leaders to the White House on Thursday to continue negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. Calling on lawmakers to find long-term deficit reductions rather than to "kick the can down the road" with short-term fixes, he once again warned against the harrowing consequences of not reaching a deal before August 2, and therefore defaulting on the nation's debt for the first time in history. Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the leaders have agreed to the meeting. "There has been progress every step of the way," he added, optimistically, after the presser. [ABC News]