White House debt deal meeting 'good' and 'constructive,' spokesman says
White House spokesman Jay Carney said a meeting between President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Monday morning was "good" and "constructive" in moving toward striking a deal to reduce the deficit.
"Coming out of it, the president told me that everyone in the room believes that a significant deal remains possible," Carney said.
Carney also reiterated the White House's calls for a balanced approach that includes attempting to increase revenue as well as cut spending. He said possible sources of revenue increases include closing subsidies and loopholes to oil and gas companies, adjusting the way that businesses account for inventory in taxes. He also mentioned "simplifying the tax code," leaving aside details.
And though Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have adamantly refused to consider tax hikes, Carney said there was still reason to be optimistic: Participants in talks with Biden, including House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who dropped out of those discussions last week, have said that some progress has been made.
Obama and Biden are also scheduled to meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at 5 p.m.