Almost at the brink of a government shutdown, President Obama called congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday night for another round of talks. Afterward, Obama told reporters that negotiations have progressed, but the stalemate remains. "I think we've made some progress," said House Speaker John Boehner. "But we are not finished. Not by a long shot." Funding for the government is expected to run out Friday at midnight. But lawmakers are sparring over how much spending to cut. Obama on Wednesday urged members of Congress to put aside politics for the American people. "You want everybody to start acting like adults, quit playing games, realize it's not just my way or the highway." [See 10 effects of a government shutdown.]
Democrats argue they've met Republicans more than half way in this battle. "Every time we agree to meet in the middle, they move where the middle is," said Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor. Republicans disagree and question Obama's leadership. "We understand America is broke," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. "And my question is, Mr. President, are you going to help us fix it?" The White House warns that a government shutdown would significantly impact the economy. The FBI and the military would continue to run, but agencies like the Small Business Administration, which processes loans, would come to a halt and he IRS would stop clearing tax returns. "These are things that affect ordinary families day in and day out," said Obama. "And it effects our economy right at the time when our economy is getting momentum." Boehner said shutting down the government is irresponsible and "will end up costing the American taxpayers more money than we are already spending."