Obama: Gap Between Parties May Be ‘Too Wide’ for a Grand Bargain on Budget
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Obama spoke on a range of high-profile issues, including his outlook for the on-going budget negotiations, whether the Chinese government is behind the recent spate of cyberattacks against U.S. companies, North Korea’s nuclear threats, same-sex marriage, and the conclave to select the next pope.
Obama Pessimistic About Grand Bargain Before Meetings With GOP Lawmakers
Before meetings with GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate today and Thursday, President Obama signaled pessimism about the prospect of reaching a grand bargain in the ongoing budget negotiations. He said there is not an “immediate debt” crisis and that, ultimately, there might just be too much space between the two parties to reach a deal.
“Ultimately, it may be that the differences are just too wide. It may be that, ideologically, if their position is, ‘We can’t do any revenue,’ or, ‘We can only do revenue if we gut Medicare or gut Social Security or gut Medicaid,’ if that’s the position, then we’re probably not going to be able to get a deal,” the president told me.
“That won’t … create a crisis,” he said. “It just means that we will have missed an opportunity. I think that opportunity is there and I’m going to make sure that they know that I’m prepared to work with them. But, ultimately, it may be better if some Democratic and Republican Senators work together.