WASHINGTON - President Obama prepared to meet Monday with congressional leaders, as the Senate's top Democrat said lawmakers are close to a deal that could avert a government default later this week.
Obama, visiting a food bank in Washington, D.C., told reporters that if congressional Republicans don't agree to an increase in the debt ceiling by Thursday, "we stand a good chance of default."
At 3 p.m., Obama meets with bipartisan congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal.
Vice President Biden will also attend the session.
On Capitol Hill, Reid told reporters that "we're getting close" to an agreement.
Reid and McConnell, the Senate's top Republican, began talks over the weekend on agreement that would lift the $16.7 trillion budget ceiling before the government hits it on Thursday.
The deal could also end the partial government shutdown, now in its 14th day.
An agreement by the Democratic-run Senate must also be approved by the Republican-run House.
Obama warmed up for the debt default meeting by visiting Martha's Table, which serves low income families in Washington, D.C. Obama plans to speak with furloughed federal workers who have volunteered at the food bank.
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