White House officials and Republican leaders scrambled on Sunday to reassure global markets the United States would avert a debt default but the two sides gave no sign they were moving closer to a deal.
"The leaders of Congress have said unequivocally ... not just Democrats — that we will meet our obligations. We are not going to default," U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the ABC television news program "This Week."
With Asian markets set to open in a few hours, U.S. officials struggled to find a way to lift the $14.3 trillion limit on U.S. borrowing ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline.
White House chief of staff Bill Daley warned the talks were moving into "difficult days" and said it was crucial to the confidence of markets and businesspeople to get a deal soon.
But the path forward was murky, with Republicans talking of a short-term debt limit increase and the White House rejecting that approach.
Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner promised to unveil a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling. Republican leaders want to show progress by 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) on Sunday, before trading gets under way in Asia, and have legislation to unveil on Monday.
UPDATE: House GOP Leaders To Hold Conference Call With Lawmakers To Update On Debt Talks At 4:30 PM EDT Sunday - Aide
"The preferable path would be a bipartisan plan that involves all the leaders, but it is too early to decide whether that's possible," Boehner told "Fox News Sunday."
"If that's not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own," Boehner said.
The United States will run out of funds to service its debt on Aug. 2 if Congress does not approve additional borrowing.
Republicans have insisted the White House agree to deep spending cuts for long-term deficit reduction before they approve any increase in America's debt burden.