The goal of the talks is to produce a long-term deficit-cutting deal that will allow the cancellation of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the end of the year that numerous economists say threaten a new recession.
While the obstacles are numerous, there are other political imperatives pushing the two sides toward an agreement.
Unemployment benefits expire for some of the long-term jobless at the end of the year. Additionally the government is expected to need an increase in borrowing authority early next year or face the possibility of a default. Any agreement on that is expected to raise the current $16.4 trillion level.
Obama wrapped up the day by meeting with CEOs from about a dozen corporations, many of whom came away optimistic that an agreement could be reached that would help the economy.
‘‘They feel like this can be done if there is a willingness on the other side to get in a room and do it,’’ said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO, who called Obama’s approach ‘‘resoundingly reasonable.’’
Sorenson said he urged the president and his team to ‘‘do as much as you possibly can now. Don’t just talk about down payments, small down payments that leave the uncertainty hanging out over 2013. Because I think the uncertainty would be a threat to the economy.’’
Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Jim Kuhnhenn and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.