President Obama wants to complete a grand bargain to reduce the deficit by the end of July, an aggressive timeline coinciding with the expiration of the nation’s debt limit.
Obama told a small group of Republican senators who had dinner with him Wednesday evening that a deficit-reduction deal needs to happen in the next four to five months, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.
A GOP lawmaker who met with Obama said the accelerated timeline has two advantages. Reaching a broad deficit deal by August would allow the president to avoid another messy standoff over raising the debt limit. The president, who has said he will not negotiate on the debt limit, believes it will be harder to forge a major deal in September and beyond, as both parties begin to position themselves for the 2014 mid-term election.