Debt Talks Yield Little; Obama Rules Out Stopgap
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WASHINGTON (WJZ) — President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders will be back at the negotiating table Tuesday afternoon. A 90-minute meeting Monday failed to bridge the gap on an agreement to cut the federal deficit and raise the debt limit.
Denise Koch reports the president is losing his patience.
If the government’s debt ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2, America could default on its bills. President Barack Obama will not accept a temporary fix and insists an agreement can be reached before then—if Republicans are willing to give a little.
“It’s not going to get any easier; it’s going to get harder, so we might as well do it now and pull off the Band-Aid, eat our peas. Now’s the time to do it. If not now, when?” Obama said.
Democrats are pushing for $4 trillion in deficit cuts and want to end some tax breaks for the wealthy, but Republicans want a smaller measure that includes bigger spending cuts and no tax increases.
“This boils down to two things,” said House Speaker Rep. John Boehner. “The president continues to insist on raising taxes and they’re just not serious enough about fundamental entitlement reform.”
Boehner walked away from the $4 trillion deal on the table this weekend, saying he didn’t have the votes in his party to support it. A deal must be reached in the next two weeks to meet August’s deadline.