Bohener: Deal? What deal? 

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, threw a bit of cold water on the so-called budget deal the two parties are discussing.

Hours after Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the two sides are getting closer to a budget deal, Boehner told reporters Thursday morning that there is no deal and that the two sides are still wrangling over the cost and scope of the measure.

"There is no agreement on a set of numbers and nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to," Boehner said.

According to Democratic aides, the two sides are negotiating a plan to fund the government for the remainder of the year with cuts in spending totaling $33 billion.

But it's likely that number isn't sitting well with the GOP, which is under pressure from their right to go for cuts that come closer to a House-passed bill that slashes $61 billion. Republicans are also pushing for numerous policy riders, including one that strips federal funding from Planned Parenthood.

"We are going to fight for what we passed in the House," Boehner said.

Some GOP lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will be speaking at a rally at the Capitol attended by Tea Party activists, who say they are in town to make sure the Republicans keep their campaign promise to reduce spending to 2008 levels, which amounts to the $61 billion in cuts.

But Boehner sent a warning to the Tea Party and lawmakers who espouse their viewpoint.

"We can't impose our will on the Senate" or the White House, where Democrats  are in control, Boehner said.

As for the negotiations, Boehner said, "We're talking."

A short term measure to fund the government expires April 8.

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Susan Ferrechio

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