The Washington Times - March 18, 2013, 11:36AM

A veteran House Democrat expressed tepid optimism Monday a “grand bargain” on a long-term federal budget can be hammered out, and he said President Obama’s recent outreach to Republicans makes a deal more likely.

“It is possible; it’s a tall order, and I think we have a limited window to get it done, probably over the next six months,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California told MSNBC.


The lawmaker added the president’s “charm offensive” with Republicans so far has been successful.

“I think he is making ground,” Mr. Schiff said, suggesting as evidence recent comments by Senate Republicans that they’re open to considering some tax increases.

But Mr. Schiff said House Republicans, who control the chamber, have been significantly less willing to compromise.

“We need some courageous leaders in the House to step forward and say, too, that they are open to compromise and open to putting revenue on the table,” he said. “But I do have hope that we can more forward. … It’s not rocket science.”

As for spending cuts, Mr. Schiff said any deal “can’t be at the expense of growing the economy and jobs. That has to be our No. 1 priority.”