The White House on Monday declined to comment on reports that the Obama administration and the Republican Congress were close to reaching a two-year budget agreement.

Instead, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that while the two sides are talking, they have not nailed down everything yet.

Earnest said the White House has worked "assiduously" to keep the talks private because they are "based on the principle that nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." But since "not everything has been agreed to" yet, "that means nothing is agreed to," he said.

Obama and Congress are hoping to settle on a two-year budget deal that would outline spending for the rest of the current fiscal year, and FY 2017. Democrats are looking for higher spending levels as a way to get around the "sequester" cuts, while Republicans are hoping to offset that new spending with cuts elsewhere.

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While it seems implied that the pending need to raise the debt ceiling is wrapped up in the spending talks, the White House has rejected that link and said it won't negotiate over the need to raise the ceiling.

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