Obama Seeking Grand Bargain by End of July

Come August, politics could make any deal impossible
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2013 11:16 AM CST
In this March 4, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – The great quest for a grand bargain is on, and President Obama hopes to have a deficit-reduction deal by the end of July, reports the Hill. That's the word leaking out from Republican senators who attended a Wednesday night dinner with the president and are calling the meeting friendly and constructive. "The president said it would be good to do this in the next five months because that is when we’ll be considering the [continuing resolution] and the debt limit," says one unnamed lawmaker. "After August you start getting ready for the mid-term."

Republican insiders are divided over how many of the president's overtures were just for show, to counter a falling approval rating, and how many were serious. Republican leaders spoke positively about Obama's intentions to hold more meetings with rank-and-file GOP lawmakers as long as his moves concentrate on building relationships rather than trying to make an end-run around GOP leadership. "After being in office for four years, he’s actually going to try to talk to members," John Boehner tells the Washington Post. "I hope something will come out of it." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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