Boehner: Big Deficit Reduction Deal Won't Work

House Republican budget negotiators have abandoned plans to pursue a massive $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction package in the face of stiff Republican opposition to any plan that would increase taxes as part of the deal.

House Speaker John Boehner informed President Barack Obama on Saturday that a smaller agreement of about $2 trillion was more realistic.

"Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes," Boehner said in a statement. "I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure."

Boehner and Obama spoke by phone on Saturday.

Republicans have been adamant that they would not support higher taxes. Instead, Boehner said negotiators should focus on deficit reductions identified by a bipartisan group led by Vice President Joe Biden. That would involve a deal of $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion.

Obama was supposed to meet with top lawmakers from both parties on Sunday evening in what he had said would be a session to perhaps begin the hard bargaining necessary for a deal.

After Boehner's statement, the White House said that Obama will not back off in his efforts to solve U.S. debt problems and will make the case to congressional leaders in talks Sunday for taking on "this critical challenge."

"We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in statement.

A deficit reduction deal is crucial to win Republican support for an increase in the nation's debt ceiling. The government's borrowing capacity is currently capped at $14.3 trillion and administration officials say it will go into default without action by Aug. 2.

Failure to act soon, some warn, could push the United States back into recession and send shock waves through the global economy.
Story: Who is blocking a grand debt deal? Democrats, too, have limits

Both parties are under pressure from voters to resolve the debt crisis ahead of next year's congressional and presidential elections. Obama is seen as a candidate that is tough to beat, though voters' fears over the economy have been dragging down his numbers.

In his weekly radio and Web address on Saturday, Obama said political sacrifices will be needed by both Democrats and Republicans to break a budget impasse and avoid a looming debt default.

Under pressure to reduce America's 9.2 percent jobless rate, Obama vowed to seek common ground with his Republican opponents and try to overcome serious disagreements on taxes and spending cuts that he says will improve the atmosphere for job creation.

"Both sides are going to have to step outside their comfort zones and make some political sacrifices," Obama said. "And we agree that we simply cannot afford to default on our national obligations for the first time in our history."

'Spending money we don't have'
Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over what elements should be part of the deal. Democrats are pushing for roughly $1 trillion in new tax revenue, while Republicans want to restructure popular benefit programs.

The uptick in the jobless rate in June to 9.2 percent complicated the debate over the debt deal and was a harsh reminder of the fragility of the U.S. economy.

Republicans who would like to deny Obama a second term when he runs for reelection in November 2012 are keeping up the pressure on the president over jobs.

"If we've learned anything, it's that we cannot spend, tax, or borrow our way to prosperity," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state said in the Republican weekly address.

"To create jobs and set our country on a sound fiscal course, we must stop spending money we don't have," she added.

Obama, Boehner and other congressional leaders were due to meet at the White House on Sunday at 6 p.m. EDT, with staffers working through the weekend to lay out options.

There could be some hard bargaining in the session but it is not likely to produce a final deal, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Boehner also tamped down expectations that Democrats and Republicans could reach agreement over the weekend. He said on Friday that the two sides must overcome serious disagreements on taxes and spending cuts.

"It's not like there's some imminent deal about to happen," Boehner told a news conference. "This is a Rubik's Cube that we haven't quite worked out yet."


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  • by Stan Location: G'ville on Jul 10, 2011 at 06:15 PM
    Don't raise taxes and cut wasteful spending. Sounds like a good business growth plan to me.
  • by Teresa on Jul 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM
    He must didn't cry hard enough..
  • by Anonymous on Jul 10, 2011 at 01:20 PM
    Just give the Rethuglicans anything they want. It's about the last thing they'll ever get out of the government. In 17 months, they'll be gone and sense will return to government.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Jul 10, 2011 at 03:01 PM in reply to
      Nope, wrong, we sent them there, now we will take the Senate and get the libtards out. Someone doesn't understand what stop spending means. Gosh, I have never read so many sore losers from this past Nov...Will you please buy tissues for the next election? Stop thinking that the government owes it to you.
    • reply
      by The flood on Jul 10, 2011 at 03:39 PM in reply to
      For sense to return it would require more, not less Republicans.
  • by anon Location: enc on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:54 PM
    to John; my appologies; I should have been more specific; I was reffering to John Boehner; not your comment; sorry.
    • reply
      by John on Jul 10, 2011 at 05:20 PM in reply to anon
      back at you anon. Thank You drink I would buy you one, I took your statement out of context No harm to you or yours. Have a good one.
  • by Kane on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:54 AM
    Didn't Regan raise taxes in the 1980s? There are programs in the federal government that are superfluous and could be cut. It's time our leaders put on their big boy pants and compromise.
    • reply
      by Puh-Leez on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM in reply to Kane
      It is true that inhis first term, Reagan raised some taxes, because he thought he had a deal with the democratic congress that for each tax increase there would be cuts in the budget to offset the impact, but as usual, the congress failed to keep their end of the bargain. The lesson was learned and Reagan eventually achieved massive tax cuts, I believe in his second term, and the economy soared.
  • by registered nurse Location: enc on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:09 AM
    Hold your ground, Speaker Boehner.
  • by Proof Location: enc on Jul 10, 2011 at 09:45 AM
    Need any more proof that the GOP doesn't care about deficit? It is all about protecting the wealthy-at any cost-even the middle class!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Jul 10, 2011 at 01:02 PM in reply to Proof
      Just curious, do you pay you bills on a credit card with another credit card? So how did that stimulus thing work for ya? I am sure you quality of life is better...gas prices are down, property taxes are down, since Barlow will not answer my question, can you tell me what poor man/woman do you work for? I will be looking forward to your answer...
  • by Z on Jul 10, 2011 at 09:23 AM
    The answer is simple! Try standing your ground and tell the libtards that its our way or the highway! Stop caving into them! Stand for something you spinless cowards!! No deal is better than giving them what they want!!!
  • by Barlow Location: Madison on Jul 10, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    The Repugnants are willing to destroy this economy AGAIN rather than have the rich pay a single dime. Where are the jobs they have created with their ten years plus of tax cuts for the wealthy?. Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for them and what has happened? NOthing! What are the going to do to keep this country from going in to default? NOthing! What are they worth to the working people of this country NOthing!! What are they good for? Good for NOthing!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Jul 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM in reply to Barlow
      Barlow, still awaiting that answer after all these months if not years. What poor man do you work for? Its very simple, even a libtard can answer that.
    • reply
      by BLAH on Jul 10, 2011 at 01:16 PM in reply to Barlow
      Good Grief,Dang Bralow,where are all the jobs that oblahma promised that give us a big part of this deficit.NOT NOTHING in fact gone backwards.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 10, 2011 at 01:31 PM in reply to Barlow
      Barlow you do know dont you that this month the private sector was in the plus along with retail.Most of the layoffs came from wasteful government jobs.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Jul 10, 2011 at 03:06 PM in reply to Barlow
      Bar...what poor man or company do you work for? Also, when did you feel it was your right to be entitled to what someone else makes? Are you saying that since you failed working for that poor man, that you should rob it from someone else? All of your such comments reflects on why Europe is failing. So you must like that government in Greece? Move there, they like the way you think...
    • reply
      by Puh-Leez on Jul 11, 2011 at 04:23 PM in reply to Barlow
      Dude, for the umpteenth time, the top 1 percent of wage earners already pay 40% of federal income tax revenue. "the rich" not paying "a single dime" is simply a lie. I know, I know, it makes you feel better if you have a boogie man, but geeeesh. Maybe your anger should be re-directed at the nearly half of all wage earners(not in the rich category) that pay zero net income taxes. You know, those that itemize and use the earned income credit deduction, etc., to get the big fat refund check each year. Come on, I know you know plenty of folks that get a big refund every year, and we all know who falls in that category.
  • by Puh-Leez on Jul 10, 2011 at 08:20 AM
    I was hoping Boehner would stick to the plan. Trying to step down to a smaller plan will be seen as caving in my book.
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