Obama throws support behind senators' deficit plan
US President Barack Obama praised efforts by a bipartisan group of senators Tuesday to craft a deficit reduction deal as a deadline on raising the country's debt limit is fast approaching, DPA reported.
The proposal by the so-called Gang of Six senators would include a package of both higher taxes and cuts to government spending on healthcare and pensions.
Obama has been in talks with congressional leaders this month ahead of an August 2 Treasury Department deadline for raising the country's debt ceiling. He said that though the White House had not yet closely reviewed all the details of the Gang of Six plan, that its broad outline represented the sort of approach he could support.
The president told reporters that there had been "some progress" in talks over the weekend, but called on Republicans to get to work on the details of an agreement.
"We're in the 11th hour, and we don't have a lot of time left," Obama said.
Later Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was due to vote on a proposal of deep spending cuts, which Obama has vowed to veto if reaches his desk. However, there is little chance the measure could pass the more closely divided Senate.
At issue is the 14.3-trillion-dollar legal debt limit, which Republicans have refused to increase without major cuts in future government spending. Obama has agreed to some cuts in social programmes and other areas, but only if Republicans go along with some tax increases.