Geithner: Obama Wants ‘Biggest Deal Possible’ on Debt

Posted July 10th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says President Barack Obama wants “the biggest deal possible” on debt reduction, but Republicans have objected to a $4 trillion package sought by the White House.

Geithner spoke on U.S. television Sunday, hours ahead of a scheduled meeting between the president and congressional leaders. The president has been working with top lawmakers in the past few days to reach an agreement on raising the nation's debt ceiling by an August 2nd deadline.

Geithner told NBC's “Meet the Press” Sunday that failure to reach a deal on raising the amount the government can borrow would cause “catastrophic damage” to the U.S. economy.

The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, said on Saturday that he is abandoning efforts to reach a comprehensive deal with the White House to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

Boehner said he told President Obama that he wants to pursue a smaller $2-trillion deficit reduction deal.

Republicans have been adamant that they will not support higher taxes. Instead, Boehner said negotiators should focus on deficit reductions identified by a bipartisan group led by Vice President Joe Biden.

Mr. Obama said earlier that congressional Democrats and Republicans need to make political sacrifices to meet the nation's fiscal challenges.