Debt Talks

'Big Deal' Back on Table

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

President Barack Obama sits with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders regarding the debt ceiling on July 14, 2011, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

Most news reports Monday are pessimistic about the prospects of a debt-ceiling deal, except for ABC News, which says a “big deal” to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion is back on the table. According to the network, House Speaker John Boehner is once again discussing such an option and wants President Obama to lay out specific cuts to entitlement programs. But, ABC News notes, “many Republicans doubt such a plan can get through Congress.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, is preparing a backup plan that will allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling three times over the next year to a total of $2.5 trillion. In The New York Times, Ross Douthat calls the proposal “a procedural gimmick that would try to pin the responsibility for raising the ceiling on President Obama.”