A GOP proposal to lift the cap on the debt limit was defeated on Tuesday in the House. The vote was largely symbolic. The proposal was intended to prove that a bill to increase the borrowing cap with no spending cuts is dead on arrival.
House Speaker John Boehner released a statement ahead of the meeting that backs his call for spending cuts that would exceed any increase in the debt limit.
"Increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and budget reforms will send a message to American job creators that we still are not serious about ending Washington's spending addiction," Boehner said in the statement.
The White House said the meeting was worthwhile even if it didn't bridge the division between Republicans and Democrats over how to reduce the deficit.
If no action is taken, the government could default on its obligations by August 2 and risk turmoil that might plunge the nation into another recession or even an economic depression.
The government has already reached the limit of its borrowing authority, $14.3 trillion, and the Treasury is using a series of extraordinary maneuvers to meet financial obligations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report,