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Total Obama cuts on table in 2012: $2 billion

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The Senate’s top Republican said Wednesday that in the closed-door budget talks, the White House was offering just an additional $2 billion in actual spending cuts for 2012 — compared to an expected deficit of $1.1 trillion for the whole year.

Broad outlines of the discussions between President Obama and congressional Republicans and Democrats have been leaking out, but specific offers and dollar amounts have been tough to come by.

Leaders on both sides had said that was the only way they would be able to strike a deal, but Republicans this week have been increasingly open about what they say is the discrepancy between the White House’s claimed cuts and the reality being discussed in closed-door meetings.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he asked an administration official this week about the total dollar amount the White House was anteing for 2012, and “they said they were talking about a $2 billion reduction — two — next year.”

“We’re not gambling our nation’s fiscal future on the promise of spending cuts tomorrow, for tax hikes today,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Mr. McConnell earlier this week said he no longer believes a solution to the debt problem is possible with Mr. Obama in the White House. White House and congressional negotiators are set for yet another bargaining session Wednesday afternoon.

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