President Obama and Republicans are in a battle over the federal deficit and a deadline for raising the federal debt limit on August 2 as GOP leaders push to cut spending from government services.
This is not just a numbers debate, Obama told supporters Thursday in Philadelphia at a fundraiser. This is a values debate.
“All of us agree on that. We actually roughly agree on the numbers. We need to bring down the deficit by about $4 trillion over a 10- to 12-year window and start bending the cost curve on health care costs,” Obama said.
He said the question was how to do it. Obama wants $2 trillion worth of cuts to the fed. He is also looking for an additional $400 billion “worth of waste” at the Defense Department.
He is seeking a deal that will include tax increases as well.
House Speaker John Boehner said in a Cincinnati radio interview this week that a tax hike cannot pass in Congress. He also said he is committed to reaching a deal that will make spending cuts which are larger than a debt limit increase.
“This is the window of opportunity, for us to address this and I do not want to let this opportunity pass,” Boehner said.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has written various letters to lawmakers and testified before Congress that failing to increase the U.S. $14.3 trillion debt limit would be a catastrophic mistake. He has also endorsed the administration's position to not require large spending cuts in order to raise the debt limit, saying both issues should be considered separately.