White House sees momentum on debt deal, but 'not close'

WASHINGTON - The White House said on Thursday it saw momentum for a "balanced" deficit deal, but it denied reports that US President Barack Obama and Republican House of Representatives speaker John Boehner were close to a pact.
The New York Times reported that the Obama administration had informed Democratic congressional leaders that Obama and Boehner were starting to close a "major budget deal" with substantial spending cuts and a tax overhaul.
White House officials said the report was wrong.
"We are not close to a deal," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.