McConnell: ‘We’re very close’ on debt deal

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Finally some light at the end of the tunnel?

On Sunday morning’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered some optimism, saying that Democrats and Republicans are close to coming to a deal in the debt ceiling negotiations.

“Well, we’re very close,” McConnell said. “We had a good day yesterday, both the president and vice president called me and the president talked to the speaker as well, and they understand with a Republican majority in the House and a very robust Republican minority in the Senate, we have to come together and we made progress in that direction since April when the administration asked us to raise the debt ceiling with no reductions at all — we have to come together.” (McConnell leads GOP Senators in bashing Reid’s plan, calls for Obama to get in involved)

McConnell went as far as definitely stating that the America would not default on its debt obligations.

“Now, I think I can confidently say that this debt ceiling increase will avoid default, which is important for everybody in America to know — we are not going to have a default for the first time in our 235-year history,” McConnell said.

“We’re not going to have job-killing tax increases in it, and we are going to deal with the problem the American people sent us here to deal with, which is [that] the government has been spending too much. We have not been taxing too little; we’ve been spending too much. So I think we’re very close to being in a position where, hopefully, I can recommend to my members they take a serious look at it and support it.”

The Senate minority leader also offered the outlines of what a deal might look like: a reported $3 trillion package with potentially no tax increases.

“What we’re looking at a $3 trillion package — discretionary cuts, both cuts now, caps over the next 10 years to hold spending in line — and then we’re also going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget,” he said.

“Now that is important for the future, because it will put some constraints on our spending habits here in Washington. Also let me emphasize the joint committee — in the early stages of this discussion, the press was talking about another commission. This is not a commission. This is a powerful, joint committee with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, to not only look at entitlement changes, but to make a recommendation back to the Senate and House by Thanksgiving of this year for an up or down vote. So think of the base-closing legislation that we passed a few years ago for an up or down vote in the Senate.”