Obama: No need for more budget extensions
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising the pressure for a budget deal, President Barack Obama on Tuesday rejected a Republican stopgap proposal to extend government operations for a week while negotiators try to hammer out an agreement on spending cuts for the rest of the year.
“We are now at the point where there is no excuse to extend this further,” Obama said following a White House meeting with congressional leaders.
The White House and Congress face a Friday deadline to complete an agreement that would set spending limits through the end of September and avert a shutdown this weekend.
Obama said that if House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not produce an agreement later Tuesday, he would summon them back to the White House Wednesday.
Boehner, in a televised appearance right after Obama, said Republicans, too, want to avoid a government shutdown but also want to achieve the largest spending cuts that are possible.
“We believe cutting spending will help us create jobs in America,” he said.
Boehner had proposed a temporary agreement that would keep the government running for one more week while slashing $12 billion in spending. He has already orchestrated action by Congress to pass a pair of stopgap bills, so far cutting $10 billion from an estimated $1.2 trillion budget.
Obama said he would agree to a two- or three-day budget extension only if a longer-term deal was imminent and needed time to clear the legislative calendar.
Earlier Tuesday after meeting with Obama, Boehner had said there was no deal with the White House and Democrats. And he warned that House Republicans “will not be put in a box” of accepting options they refuse to endorse.