Obama Tells Democrats to Make Concessions on ‘Grand Bargain’

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 09:00 PM

By Todd Beamon

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President Barack Obama asked House Democrats on Thursday for the flexibility to make entitlement concessions to Republicans in upcoming discussions to reach a deal to reduce the deficit.

“What he basically said was that there's got to be a balanced deal,” Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont told The Hill after the meeting of the House Democratic Caucus. “And that if there's going to be revenues, then obviously there's going to be, in a Republican-controlled House, the need for us to consider some of the things we don't like. That was more or less it.”

Obama told the caucus that he would accept nothing less than a balanced approach to cutting the deficit that includes new tax revenues, several lawmakers at the session told The Hill.

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But with Republicans in control of the House, no deal is possible, Obama said, unless Democrats are ready to sacrifice some entitlement programs.

“[Obama] recognizes that we are in tough times," Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana told The Hill afterward. “But we have to act — and he expressed a willingness to compromise with the other side and urged that we compromise and be willing to.”

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