The President met with leaders of both parties yesterday to continue talks about raising the debt limit. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell nixed any idea of a ‘grand bargain’ which President Obama had pushed for…
President Obama and congressional leaders met again on Sunday night for 75 minutes at the White House as they tried to hash out an agreement on a deficit reduction deal tied to the impending deadline to raise the federal debt limit. No deal was reached except to agree to meet again on Monday.
Obama and the Democrats in the room — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin – continued to push for a grand bargain that would achieve some $4.5 trillion in savings. They also insisted that entitlement reforms — changes to Medicare and Social Security — remain on the table. “We came into this weekend with the prospect that we could achieve a grand bargain,” Pelosi said in a statement. “We are still hopeful for a large bipartisan agreement, which means more stability for our economy, more growth and jobs, and more deficit reduction over a longer period of time.”
House Speaker John Boehner, who had pushed for a bigger deal when negotiators convened last Thursday, reversed course on Saturday night, announcing he would seek a smaller package of just over $2 trillion in cuts. In Sunday’s meeting, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor did most of the talking for the GOP, insisting that all revenue increases in any deal be offset by tax cuts. Also present at Sunday’s gathering were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. “It’s baffling that the President and his party continue to insist on massive tax hikes in the middle of a jobs crisis while refusing to take significant action on spending reductions at a time of record deficits,” said Don Stewart, a McConnell spokesman. “Sen. McConnell believes we need to reduce Washington spending, reform and strengthen entitlement programs, and prevent the more than trillion dollars in tax hikes that Democrats want to add at a time of rising unemployment.”
Before the grand bargain broke down, Democrats had demanded that $1 trillion in revenue increases be coupled with $3.5 trillion in spending cuts. About $300 billion of that would have come from ending corporate tax breaks and another $700 billion would’ve come from letting some of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. Boehner had argued the Bush tax cuts, along with other issues, should be left to a comprehensive tax reform package that could be taken up immediately following the deficit reduction deal. Obama had insisted that the Republicans should have to share in the sacrifice for a larger deficit reduction package. And, indeed, on Sunday night, Democrats argued that any package would have to include some concessions from Republicans.
- Mitch McConnell: Grand Bargain On Debt Limit Unlikely (huffingtonpost.com)
- With Clock Ticking, Washington Debt Talks Move Past a Grand Bargain (swampland.time.com)
- Obama, lawmakers to meet again as debt clock ticks – The Associated Press (news.google.com)
- Obama:’We Need To’ Get Budget & Debt Hike Deal in Next 10 Days (forexlive.com)
- Party Leaders Go Rogue In Debt Ceiling Talks (businessinsider.com)
- Tensions Flare Ahead of White House Deficit Summit (foxnews.com)
- Obama: We have 10 days to make a debt deal (cbsnews.com)
- McConnell: Stopping Obama’s re-election still ‘single most important’ goal (crooksandliars.com)