Budget chief says Obama still hopes for grand deal

AP News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2011 9:55 AM
Budget chief says Obama still hopes for grand deal

White House budget director Jack Lew says President Barack Obama thinks there is still time "to get something big done" on a grand deal that would increase the nation's borrowing authority while reducing long-term deficits.

The government will exceed the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling on Aug. 2. That could bring higher interest rates and a halt in Social Security checks.

Lawmakers want to use the debt ceiling countdown as an opportunity to reduce long-term deficits, but negotiators have reached an impasse.

Lew said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the president "made clear he wants the largest deal possible." But Lew also said that Obama says if they can't get the most done, in addition to raising the debt ceiling, "we should do as much as we can."