Obama, Boehner Near 'Grand Bargain'—Maybe

Reports cite $3T deal with tax reform, entitlement changes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2011 2:36 PM CDT
President Obama and John Boehner May Be Nearing Deal on Budget Deficit, Debt Ceiling
President Obama sits with House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during debt ceiling talks.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Obama and John Boehner are reportedly back at the bargaining table, and they could be near a deal to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. The rumored $3 trillion agreement between the administration and top Republicans could include entitlement changes and set plans for tax reform, reports Politico. Stories are conflicting, however. John Boehner has labeled “false” a New York Times piece suggesting a “major budget deal” is approaching—but other insiders say the administration told them as much late yesterday.

Meanwhile, the White House press secretary has said the leaders “are not close to a deal.” Still, the reports already have some Democrats concerned that Obama’s chief of staff, Bill Daley, is offering too many concessions. According to the Times piece, the agreement would include new revenue in 2012 through a tax-code overhaul closing loopholes, ditching tax breaks, and lowering taxes for individuals and corporations. Insiders also say the deal would likely contain cuts to Medicare. "I do think there has been a meeting of the minds at least for now … to try and get a grand bargain," said Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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