President Barack Obama will meet with leaders from both parties Monday, seeking to overcome an impasse in negotiations over a deal to raise the federal debt limit.
Vice President Joe Biden had been presiding over bipartisan talks, but they fell apart last week when U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., withdrew, citing Democrats' insistence that revenue increases be part of a deficit reduction package. Republicans have staunchly opposed any type of tax increase being included in the deal, and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, telegraphed his intention to hammer this point when he meets with Obama this afternoon.
Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass, McConnell said Sunday on ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour. I mean, putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either.
Republicans have said a measure to reduce the deficit must be equal in size to the roughly $2 trillion increase in the debt limit, but Democrats have set that target is impossible to reach without some form of revenue increase such as closing corporate tax loopholes.
The president is willing to make tough choices, but he cannot ask the middle class and seniors to bear all the burden for deficit reduction and to sacrifice while millionaires and billionaires and special interests get off the hook, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday. That's not a fair and balanced approach.
Obama will also be meeting with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate majority leader.