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 the fiscal uncertainty over the U.S. 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," Obama told House of Representatives Democrats attending a three-day retreat.
In a foreshadowing of more budget battles to come, 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.
"But it also means that we've got to be able to close some tax loopholes that the average American cannot take advantage of, to raise the revenue to actually do the job in a way that allows us to continue to grow," the president told House Democrats.