Harry Reid, the Democratic Leader in the Senate dashed hopes of reaching an agreement on the budget and avoiding sweeping spending cuts and tax hikes before Christmas.
Reid said it would be extremely difficult to have everything in place prior to December 25, even as House Republicans and the White House continue to exchange and counter offers.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for John Boehner, the House Speaker said, in response to an offer made earlier from President Obama, we sent a counter-offer to the White House that would achieve entitlement and tax reform to solve the looming debt worries and create additional jobs for Americans.
He added that Speaker Boehner was waiting for the President to identify spending cuts he is willing to accept, as part of a balanced approach that he had promised the people in the U.S.
No further information or details of of the two offers have been released.
On Tuesday, Reid spoke about the talks that had been moving slowly over the fiscal crisis. In what at the beginning appeared to signal progress, President Obama and Boehner met last weekend at the Oval Office, but with both sides continuing to make complaints about the lack of any cooperation from the other side, it was easy to see that the weekend meeting was not as fruitful as many had hoped or thought.
Reid said that a deal was still possible prior to Christmas, but emphasized how difficult it was in moving forward. Reid also said that even if an agreement were reached, it would take time moving it through the two chambers. Nothing is easily accomplished said Reid.