Obama Seeks Grand Debt Bargain

President resists GOP efforts to focus on scaled-down deal.

President Barack Obama pushed back against Republican efforts to focus on a scaled-down deficit deal, arguing for a broader package of spending cuts and tax increases to put the U.S. on a sounder long-term fiscal footing.

“Now is the time to deal with these issues,” Obama said at a White House news conference yesterday before resuming talks with congressional leaders on reducing deficits and raising the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling before the government exhausts its borrowing authority on Aug. 2. “If not now, when?”

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