President Barack Obama speaks while furloughed federal workers Health and Human Services employee Chantelle Burton (L) and U.S. Census Burea employee Dolly Garcia listen while they volunteer at a Martha's Table kitchen on October 14, 2013 in Washington, D.C. During a statement, Obama called on congress to end the budget stalemate and allow federal employees to return to work. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick-Pool/Getty Images)

Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate said Monday they are close to a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Obama, visiting a local food bank, told reporters that if congressional Republicans don't agree to an increase in the debt ceiling by Thursday, "we stand a good chance of defaulting."

The president had a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. EST, but the White House announced that the gathering would be postponed so that there was more time to work on a plausible deal.

The delay will "allow leaders in the Senate time to continue making important progress towards a solution that raises the debt limit and reopens the government," the White House said.

Whenever it happens, Obama plans to meet at the White House with bipartisan congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Vice President Biden will also attend the session.