Obama fails to sway GOP on tax increase in debt reduction plan
WASHINGTON — President Obama wrapped up a series of meetings with Congress on Thursday, the latest phase in a reach-out-to-Republicans effort marked by stark differences over taxes, the budget and other issues.
Senate Republicans who spoke with the president said they appreciated the visit, but repeated their opposition to new taxes in any debt reduction plan.
“After today's meeting, it is clear to me that balancing our budget and cutting bloated Washington spending are not President Obama's top priorities,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Obama aides said the president will continue to talk to the GOP about a deal that is balanced between spending cuts and the elimination of tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.
Obama wants an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States. Some Republicans describe such a pathway as amnesty for lawbreakers.
“The president understands that these are tough issues,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Obama had separate meetings with Senate Republicans and House Democrats. During the previous two days, Obama spoke on Capitol Hill with groups of House Republicans and Senate Democrats. Last week featured presidential meals and phone calls with various Republicans.
Participants described the sessions as pleasant and informative, but with no breakthroughs on some of the basic disputes — particularly taxes.
Obama naturally found more common ground in his meetings with House and Senate Democrats, but even among the president's rank-and-file there remains concern the president may be willing to negotiate further on reforming entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security than many Democrats can support.
In previous unsuccessful negotiations with Republicans, Obama has been willing to consider proposals including raising the Medicare eligibility age and changing the way Social Security benefits are calculated.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCarthy withdraws candidacy for speaker
- Coal industry seeks unusual partner in UN green climate fund
- Hero in French train terrorist attack injured in bar brawl
- South Carolina capital’s drinking water at risk
- Top U.S. general wants more troops in Afghanistan
- Number of deported lowest since 2006, AP finds
- Volkswagen exec ready to testify in D.C.
- Broadening police collection of license plate photos spurs privacy discussion
- California vineyards skip irrigation amid drought
- Top general in Afghanistan: U.S. strike on hospital a mistake
- Fantasy sports websites draw Congress’ eye