Political Fault Lines In Budget Discussion
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., appears to be trying to push President Barack Obama in one direction and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is standing firm on Obama's left. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is taking a go-big-or-go-home position on the need to reach a "grand deal" on entitlement cuts and revenue raisers.
The Hill: Cantor Demands Specifics On White House Entitlement Savings
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pushed back Tuesday against President Obama's calls for a grand bargain on the deficit, pointing out that House Republicans already voted to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid three months ago. "I think it's time for [the president] to come out and say what he's for and stop sitting here talking about the fact that he's ready to do the big deal," Cantor said at a Chamber of Commerce conference on health care costs. "We're the ones putting our budget forward to begin with" (Pecquet, 7/12).
Politico: Harry Reid: Entitlement Cuts Need Big Deal
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that for entitlement cuts, it's go big on a deal or forget it. "I will not touch Medicare and Medicaid for some simple little deal," he told reporters. Reid said he'd only consider changes to the programs if the deal were large and included tax increases. The White House is continuing to push for the so-called "grand bargain" a $4 trillion reduction in the deficit that would include raising revenue along with spending cuts even while Speaker John Boehner pulled out of negotiations on that proposal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also said Tuesday that she doubts a grand bargain is still possible (Min Kim, 7/12).
San Francisco Chronicle: Pelosi Digs In To The Left Of Obama In Debt Battle
Issuing an ultimatum to a president of her own party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is betting that she can recapture the speakership in a high-stakes game of brinkmanship over raising the $14 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2. The San Francisco Democrat has told President Obama that House Democrats will not vote for any trims to future benefits in Medicare or Social Security, even a tweak to the cost-of-living index to restrain benefit growth. Obama has made clear that he is open to cuts in entitlement programs (Lochhead, 7/12).