July 11, 2011 11:33 AM

Obama: Time to "eat our peas" and pass debt deal

Stephanie Condon
Economy ,
Obama Administration

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

President Obama is still seeking the largest deficit reduction deal possible as part of a package deal to raise the debt ceiling, he said in a press conference today.

"I continue to push congressional leaders for the largest possible deal," he said from the White House. "It is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice [and] would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows."

Mr. Obama would not even entertain the notion of failing to get a deal done before the end of the month.

"We are going to get this done by August 2," he said.

The president and his economic team have repeatedly warned of catastrophic consequences for the U.S. and global economy if Congress does not increase the debt ceiling -- the amount of money that the U.S. government is technically allowed to borrow -- by August 2. Republicans have insisted on creating a deficit and debt reduction plan as a condition of voting to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

Obama says will not sign short-term debt deal
Obama: "irresponsible" to hold up debt talks
Boehner says Dems not willing to make debt deal

Mr. Obama has been seeking a deal that includes $4 trillion in budget savings over a decade, but House Speaker John Boehner said on Saturday that a mid-size package of reforms -- closer to $2 trillion in savings, with no tax increases -- is the only politically viable solution.

Mr. Obama said today that he appreciated Boehner's efforts to try to reach a large deal with him, but that the rest of the GOP must now step up to the plate.

"I've been hearing from my Republican friends for some time it is a moral imperative to tackle our debt and deficits in a serious way," Mr. Obama said. "What I've said to them is, let's go."

The president said today he would not accept a smaller, short-term deal. "We might as well do it now," he said. "Pull off the band aid. Eat our peas."

On CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner reiterated the administration's warning that Congress must act now. "The risk we face starts to happen in July, but then on August 2 we're left running on fumes," he said.

While leaders from both parties agree that the debt ceiling should be raised before August 2, negotiations remained stalled at a White House meeting Sunday night.

The president will reconvene with lawmakers Monday afternoon, and he plans to meet with them every day until a deal is forged.

"We're going to resolve this, and we're going to resolve this for a reasonable period of time and we're going to resolve it in a serious way," he said.

Mr. Obama said leaders have already agreed to a series of spending cuts that will make the government "leaner, meaner, more effective, more efficient, and give taxpayers a greater bang for their buck." Those include cuts to defense and health spending, he said.

He added that both parties must now be willing to take on their "sacred cows." For Democrats that means modifying programs like Social Security. For Republicans, that means bringing in new tax revenues.

Obama prepared to "take heat" over Soc. Security
Obama: Debt deal alone won't fix economy

Members of the GOP have complained that "bringing in revenues" refers to raising taxes on Americans and job-creating businesses. However, Mr. Obama emphasized today that he was simply asking Republicans to agree to closing some tax loopholes some years down the road.

"I want to be crystal clear: Nobody has talked about increasing taxes now, nobody has talked about increasing taxes next year," he said. "What we have talked about is that starting in 2013 that we have gotten rid of some of these egregious loopholes that are benefiting corporate jet owners or oil companies at a time where they're making billions of dollars of profits."

Mr. Obama said Republicans must agree to raise revenues.

"I do not see a path to a deal if they don't budge, period," he said.

He pointed out that Democrats control the Senate. "And so if in fact Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are sincere, and I believe they are, that they don't want to see the U.S. government default, then they're going to have to compromise just like Democrats are going to have to compromise; just like I have shown myself willing to compromise."

  • Stephanie Condon

    Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

Add a Comment See all 1488 Comments
by noloyalisti July 13, 2011 4:08 PM EDT
We ALL need to back the recall of the Republicons in WI for their anti-worker, anti middle class stand. Today all 6 progressive Democrats won and will be running to take back their house and senate.

You know the billionaires who appointed Governor Walker are quaking in their boots. If we can win this battle in the Class War of the billionaires, we can really take them out everywhere.
Reply to this comment
by noloyalisti July 13, 2011 1:39 PM EDT
The fact is the billionaires have been plotting forever to avoid paying their taxes. And they have suckered a whole bunch of Americans into thinking that what is good for the billionaire is good for everyone.

And voila, we have this current mess.
Reply to this comment
by charleyhog July 13, 2011 1:34 PM EDT
odumbdumb threatnens the people on social security why doesn't he first threaten to take away the billions of foreign aid and the billions of money that goes to the illeagle people no he is not going to hurt the ones who voted him in so he threatens the elderly what an a$$ first of all like the corlerate counterpart the workers have taken a cut in pay and benifits so should the federal and state workers . the corperate workers pay into their retirement and health care so should the federal and state workers. the elected officials should take a 30% cut in pay since they for the most part are rich anyway eliminate if you serve one term or 20 as a elected official you get a lifetime health care and retirement package you have to go back to your real world job and real world benifits including the president.
start be limiting the use of Air DForce one to government business and no excess baggage like your kids , your mother inlaw , your relatives who not only fly for free they eat for free and enjoy the benifits . i am tired of paying taxes to have mrs odumbdumb and her entire staff and family go galavanting around the world on vacation when is the US voters going to stand up and say stop your crap
Reply to this comment
by jackcasse July 13, 2011 1:33 PM EDT
Debt Talks Have Created Hatred
I went to a website: http://obamas.effenup.com yesterday and posted was a video that suggest sublimnally that President Obama should be shot and left as brain dead in the end. The video was cloaked as a star- trek video parody for which the whole plot centered upon Mr. Obama's handling of the country's current crisises. The distastful nature of the video is evident as it ends in a presidential murder based upon the twisted views of those labeled as republicans and as ultra conservative. This video speaks tothe planned and plain hatred of an African-American president solely because of his race; and should be investigated by the Secret Service. A question that must be asked here is: When does the right to freedom of speech cross the line and triumphs over ones right to live a light free of fanatical racism and subliminal threat and intimidation. If Mr. Obama were not Black, he would not have been depicted as being murdered
Reply to this comment
by noloyalisti July 13, 2011 1:12 PM EDT
Although Obama has more common sense and compassion in his little finger than the entire Republicon Party put together, he really is only a puppet for big business. The corporate takeover of the government that started with the disaster of Reagan has really sucked the life out of us and the world.
Reply to this comment
by debbie1120 July 13, 2011 1:27 PM EDT
You may be correct, however, Obama hasn't made it any better. He isn't trying to make it better. He's not worried about our country, he's worried about his country and his people. He's always taking trips overseas. Maybe his travel needs to be cut. And not to forget Michelle, she's always on the go as well. The cuts need to start at the whitehouse.
by Americuss July 13, 2011 11:16 AM EDT
Peas and cornbread for us, lobster for he and Michelle.
Reply to this comment
by noloyalisti July 13, 2011 1:11 PM EDT
What about those billionaires CEOs who took all the wealth of America? They did not earn it, do not deserve it and don't even work for it. On top of that they do not pay for the country that they got rich from.
by shyann12 July 13, 2011 9:55 AM EDT
Our president must not read these statements before recitation.
Reply to this comment
by rightiesarewrong July 13, 2011 12:40 AM EDT
wow what's up all the racist trolls here tonight?
Reply to this comment
by djandle July 13, 2011 9:18 AM EDT
Just because we believe this president (and I use that term very loosely) is a pos that couldn't navigate his way out of a cul-de-sac, makes us racist? I believe that anyone who blindly follows a person like that is a complete and utter idiot with an IQ second to a fern!
by mylifetolive July 13, 2011 9:50 AM EDT
They are not racist trolls. The are called voters. Wait, you'll see.
by noloyalisti July 12, 2011 10:29 PM EDT
Typical blind ideology from tennis gal. Puking out Limpball quality thoughts with nothing to back it up. This person is so ignorant that they do not realize that taxes are at their lowest level in 50 years, mostly for the rich.

And that is the thing that has caused the entire problems we have. Maybe she does not remember what happened to the Republicons in 2006 and 2008.
Reply to this comment
by tennisgal44 July 12, 2011 8:31 PM EDT
I would say the IDIOTS are the democrats - with obama at the helm.
Reply to this comment
by rightiesarewrong July 12, 2011 9:48 PM EDT
i learned that tonight im gon be hit on da floor you sally wag!
by mbroussa July 13, 2011 12:06 PM EDT
Did you learn nothing from the Great Depression? He wants to close loophole taxes on certain exhorbitant luxury items like corporate jets etc... If you make less than $250,000.00 a year you're the idiot and if not you're just greedy/powerhungry.
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