The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Obama open to "big deal" on budget, but wants revenues


LEESBURG, Virginia (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama told congressional Democrats on Thursday he is willing to agree to a "big deal" with Congress on spending cuts and tax reforms to end uncertainty over the United States (US) budget deficit, but insisted that new revenues be part of the package.

"I am prepared, eager and anxious to do a big deal, a big package, that ends this governance by crisis where every two weeks, or every two months, or every six months, we are threatening this hard-won recovery," Mr Obama told House of Representatives Democrats attending a three-day retreat.

In a foreshadowing of more budget battles to come, Mr Obama said he would insist that taxes be raised by closing loopholes that benefit the wealthy, as a way to raise money for spending projects.

"The rest of the way moving forward, we can do some additional reforms, and make our health care programs work better, and make them more efficient, and we can cut out programs that we don't need," he said.