President Obama wants Congress to come to an agreement by Aug. 2 about raising the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling so that the US does not default on its debt and other obligations. The president wanted new tax revenues to be part of a 'grand bargain' to shrink the budget deficit; House Republicans did not.
The proposal by the 'Gang of Six' senators Tuesday draws on ideas from the deficit commission. The middle-of-the-road plan will have to overcome partisan concerns and a lack of time.
President Obama's hopes for a 'grand bargain' both to raise the debt ceiling and rein in the deficit got a boost Tuesday when the Senate's 'Gang of Six' proposed $3.7 trillion in deficit reductions.
Republican and Democratic leaders resume talks with President Obama Thursday on raising the national debt limit and bringing down the deficit. Will anyone bring more to the table this time?
On Monday, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will hold meetings with Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to discuss the status of the debt talks.
As an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling nears, Congress is getting serious about where to find major spending cuts. Republicans have vowed not to support a potential $2.4 trillion increase to the debt ceiling unless they get an equal amount of budget savings to offset the increase. Finding $2.4 trillion in spending cuts is not easy, but Congress's search is beginning to show some signs of promise. In particular, three programs long protected by big, bipartisan majorities in the past now appear vulnerable.
A Senate vote to eliminate $6 billion in tax breaks for ethanol producers is a strong sign that ethanol is losing allies and Congress is increasingly open to getting rid of tax breaks.