“As we saw in these last negotiations, we can come up with some very serious spending cuts that Democrats and Republicans can agree helps to put us on the right path,” he said. “The key from my perspective is making sure that it’s balanced.”
Some Republican members of his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are gauging the receptiveness in their party to raising taxes, an element of Obama’s deficit-reduction plan that Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strongly opposed Wednesday.
“There were several Republicans on the commission, the fiscal commission that I set up, who agreed that we have to have revenue as part of an overall package. And voted for it,” Obama said. “And they’re in discussions now to see if potentially we can get a bipartisan process started.”
The fiscal commission voted in December on a deficit-reduction plan that included lowering tax rates and eliminating popular deductions. Although the 11 votes in favor of the plan were not enough to reach the threshold needed to send it to Congress, its recommendations have influenced the current debate, and Obama adopted some of its recommendations in his proposal.
The current Congressional Republicans who voted in favor of the fiscal commission’s plan were Sens. Mike Crapo (Idaho) and Tom Coburn (Okla.). The two are members of the bipartisan “gang of six” Senators who are working on legislation based on the commission’s recommendations.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.