Obama budget talks stall

BUDGET talks in the United States have hit a stalemate after the White House failed to reach an agreement with the Republican-led House over cuts.

Washington is now braced for a shutdown in federal services – not including armed forces and emergency services – which could start next week should lawmakers fail to reach a deal by midnight on Friday.

Republicans want to push the deadline back a week and impose another $12bn (£7.4bn) in cuts, yet Democrats have called it unacceptable.

President Barack Obama met the House speaker John Boehner yesterday. He told a press conference he had agreed to $33bn in cuts sought by the Republicans, but that talks had stalled.

Opponents argue Obama’s plans will do little to tackle the US deficit, projected to hit $1.4 trillion this year.

Analysts said a shutdown appears unlikely, as neither side benefits.