US lawmakers voice new confidence in deficit deal
The leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, said Republicans are willing to consider increased revenue "as long as it is accompanied by spending cuts'' as leaders in a divided government get to work on a possible deal after a fierce election campaign.
He presented a framework that one official said called for a deficit down- payment of unspecified size by year's end, to be followed by comprehensive tax reform and an overhaul of health care for the elderly and other benefit programs in 2013.
Democrats indicated some spending cuts would be fine with them.
"I feel confident that a solution may be in sight,'' said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
The goal of the high-pressure talks to come is to produce a multitrillion-dollar deficit-reduction plan that can take the place of the across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that are slated to take effect on Jan. 1.
In remarks while reporters were present, Obama stressed that time was short as he welcomed the leaders to the White House for the first time since winning re- election this month. ``We have urgent business to do,'' he said.
If nothing else, the mood seemed good around the table in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Obama noted
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