Obama Hopeful Deficit Panel Will Find Solution

Posted November 14th, 2011 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama says he hopes the leaders of a congressional committee tasked with cutting the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion will do what is necessary in the coming days to agree on a plan.

Mr. Obama said during a news conference Sunday that the cuts do not require radical changes, and that other countries are having to make much more significant reforms. He also reiterated his call for the deficit reduction to be a balance of spending cuts and higher revenue.

The special committee has until November 23 to come up with a plan to reduce the deficit over the next decade. The full Congress would then have to approve the recommendations before December 23.

If either effort fails, automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic programs would be triggered

The Republican co-chair of the committee, Representative Jeb Hensarling, said Sunday that the panel’s negotiations have been a “roller coaster ride” but that members have not given up hope.

A Democratic committee member, Representative James Clyburn, said he believes all of the pieces for a good resolution are there.

Republicans have been reluctant to accept tax increases, while Democrats have opposed deep cuts to healthcare and retirement programs.