Have Obama and Boehner Reached A Deal?

A Congressional aide briefed on ongoing negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama says the two principals may be nearing a "grand bargain" on to raise the debt limit which would contain large, set-in-stone spending cuts but only the possibility of future revenue increases.

"All cuts," the aide said. "Maybe revenues some time in the future."

The status of negotiations has Democratic aides on both sides of the Capitol nervous and unhappy. And the notion that the impasse over the debt limit may be nearing an end is sparking denials from both the White House and Boehner's office -- in part, perhaps, because neither side has buy-in from their parties on a consensus plan.

However two aides confirmed that Obama has been emphatic with Democratic negotiators that his preference is to negotiate a big deal with Boehner and squeeze it through Congress

Lacking still is any sense of what's in the still-forming plan, on both the spending and revenue side. And Democrats, particularly in the House, will have a lot to say over whether the deal is acceptable -- they're votes will be necessary for Boehner to pull off a grand bargain.

Earlier Thursday, I asked House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer whether the center of gravity of White House negotiations was on reaching a comprehensive deal on reducing deficits and raising the debt limit, or simply to avert a catastrophic default.

"I think both," Hoyer told me. "As I said you have a short-term [imperative] and a long-term and we're discussing both."


Talking Points Memo / By Brian Beutler

Posted at July 21, 2011, 7:50am