- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Second budget talks end in inertia
Biden huddles with Hill leaders
Question of the Day
A second round of deficit reduction talks between the Obama administration and a bipartisan group from Congress ended Tuesday much like last week’s initial meeting, with participants expressing optimism but offering little evidence a compromise is forthcoming.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, party leaders retreated to their talking points on how best to lower the nation’s ballooning deficit, with Republicans refusing to raise taxes and Democrats pushing a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden met with six members of Congress - four Democrats and two Republicans - Tuesday afternoon at the Blair House in Washington to discuss ways to cut the budget and to ensure the nation doesn’t exceed its current debt limit.
Mr. Biden said after the meeting the group made “real progress,” while Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said the meeting was “better than the last one,” according to wire service reports.
But for the most part the participants - like after last Thursday’s meeting - were tight-lipped about what was said at the closed meeting.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House Budget Director Jacob Lew and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling also were scheduled to attend.
The group is scheduled to meet again Thursday.
The federal government is creeping up dangerously close to its $14.294 trillion debt ceiling, the government’s legal limit on how much it can borrow to pay for its operations. Exceeding the limit could lead to the United States defaulting on its loans, a scenario that would damage the nation’s credit rating and could trigger another financial crisis, Mr. Geithner has warned.
The government is on course to breach its debt limit this month, although Mr. Geithner has said he can juggle accounts until Aug. 2.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, on Monday drew a hard line on how far his party was willing to go to raise the nation’s debt limit, saying that any increase should be accompanied by $2 trillion in budget cuts.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, meanwhile, has drafted a plan that calls for $4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, according to lawmakers and aides.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, on Tuesday said the Conrad plan calls for an even “50-50” split of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit.
“We’re looking at large amounts of money that we have to work toward saving,” Mr. Reid said. “But it can’t all be done by cutting domestic discretionary spending. It has to be a fair approach.”
President Obama last month suggested a plan to cut $4 trillion from the deficit using a mix of $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.
Democrats on Tuesday also introduced legislation to end tax breaks to big oil companies as one way to help lower the deficit.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors