With the U.S. debt ceiling deadline looming, the White House said Wednesday it would accept a proposed short-term deficit reduction plan if both sides agree on a significant deficit reductions.
“We would not support a short-term extension absent an agreement to a larger deal. Obviously, if both sides agree to something significant, we will support the measures needed to finalize the details of that,” Jay Carney, White House spokesman told reporters.
President Barack Obama expressed support for a deficit-reduction plan put forth by the bipartisan Gang of Six Senators, that includes cuts to military and social spending to reduce the nation’s deficit by USD 3.7 trillion over ten years.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a “cut, cap, and balance” plan that calls for steep spending cuts, a cap on future spending as a percentage of GDP, and an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget.
The White House and Congress are scrambling to reach a deal ahead of August 2, after which the government will default on its financial obligations. “We are in the 11th hour,” Carney said.
“We need to meet, talk, consult, narrow down what our options are and figure out, in fairly short order, which train we’re riding into the station.”