McConnell: 'We're very close' to a deal
July 31st, 2011
09:06 AM ET
3 years ago

McConnell: 'We're very close' to a deal

Washington (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that a deal to raise the debt ceiling is "very close."

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," the Kentucky senator said Republicans and Democrats "made dramatic progress" Saturday over a $3 trillion package of spending cuts that would not include tax increases.


McConnell said he is "very very close to being able … to recommend to my members that this is something that they ought to support."

Although all the details are not yet agreed upon, McConnell said the deal would likely be a two-step process. The first step would include an immediate increase in the borrowing limit, a vote in the Senate on a balanced budget amendment and a new bipartisan committee to recommend more cuts. The joint committee would make recommendations for further deficit reductions and changes to entitlement programs by Thanksgiving. But McConnell would not comment on what specific "triggers" would serve as penalties if the committee did not reach an agreement. The second step would allow Congress to disapprove of Obama raising the debt ceiling further.

"You'll see that this is a process that could get him (President Obama) past the election. We're working on the combinations that will get us there," McConnell said. "I'm particularly appreciative that we're now back talking to the only person in America who can sign something into law and that's the president of the United States."

A Republican source close to the negotiations told CNN the goal is $3 trillion in savings, and that the deal would include a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.

- CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Mitch McConnell • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Ever Teabagger in the HOUSE is up for re-election next year - VOTE THEM OUT. They have shown themselves to be financial terrorists.

    President Obama did NOT negotiate with the pirates or Osama bin Laden - why is he negotiating with these financial terrorists at the expense of the most vulnerable in this country?

    Raise taxes (cut loopholes, and tell Norquist to take a flying leap).

    July 31, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. p

    Let's remember the GOP in the next election!

    July 31, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    The obstructionists are the Dems, because they want to keep more spending than makes sense.

    July 31, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Every Teabagger in the HOUSE is up for re-election next year – VOTE THEM OUT. They have shown themselves to be financial terrorists.

    President Obama did NOT negotiate with the pirates or Osama bin Laden – why is he negotiaing with these financial terrorists at the expence of the most vulnerable in this country?

    Raise taxes (but loopholes and subsidies, and tell Norquist to take a flying leap).

    July 31, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. RaddyRabbit

    Gotta love this game. So, you defeated my bill. Gotya! Now, I have defeated yours. Gotya! All of this is being recorded for November 2012 politcal ad sound bites. D.C.-area TV production houses are working 24/7 because business is, or soon will be, so good.

    All of this brings great shame to this country that so many of us have worked for. We did not send you all to D.C. to be dunderheads without adult supervision. Voting against all now in D.C. in 2012. With a little luck, you will be gone.

    July 31, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. the middle

    the top tax bracket pays 70% of the bill. Even if we took all the Taxable income of the top tax bracket it wouldn't cover the deficit. the problem is not the individual rich person getting a tax break. its companies like GE that made over 100 billion last year and paid Zero taxes. they actually got millions back from the government. Jeffery Immelt is the man that has been put in charge of trying to create new jobs in the US. His company just opened 2 new plants in China. How does that help the US?

    We Tried the government spending money to try and jump start the economy and it didn't work instead we spent over 800 billion and got nothing done.

    July 31, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Ken in NC

    The Minority Republican will announce they have reached a new bipartisan agreement with Democrats to raise the debt limit as soon as Democrats agree to everything Republicnas want. It is a good thing I do not have the powers of GOD for Republicans would all find themselves incharge of the "Dark Side" of the Moon before night fall. Some would remind me there is no oxygen on the moon to while I would respond, And Your Point Is"

    July 31, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Marie MD

    mcconnel, weeper boner, tantrum boy cantor and the rest of the rethugs are to blame for all that is happening in congress right now. Starting with allowing for someone like the flake from MN to hold teabagging rallies against the government to think that paul ryan knows anything about economics.
    We vote these clowns in to work for us. They don't just work for the rich and big corporations. Come 2012 I hope most of those who have held the country hostage (teabaggers mostly) are thrown out on their butts!!! We need politicians who love our country not this bunch of traitors who "want their country back". Yes, you have certainly set us back decades, if not centuries!!

    July 31, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Steve H

    A previous comment by "Name King", puts the blame on the Bush tax cuts. I agree that that is part, but not the biggest part. Maybe he is not aware of the huge increases in Defense spending caused by the war. We now spend about 1 trillion a year on the DOD, nuclear weapons, the defense part of the State Department, and other defense related spending hidden in other parts of the budget. The bush tax cut was 3 trillion over the last year. The increase in defense spending is 5 trillion. That plus the unfunded prescription drug benefit and there you have it. All three were great Bush ideas. It is true that the biggest driver of future deficits is Medicare, but that is not why we are were we are today. We should have been saving for what everybody knew was coming thanks to demographics, but instead we got Bush, Praise the Lord.

    July 31, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Don

    "What was wrong with Obama’s original plan of $4 trillion in cuts "

    Apparently that's not a plan....I can't wait to see what happens when the GOP loses it majority....When you have such dissent in your own party on such a grand stage you're bound to pay for it in a grand way! Repubs just handed Obama 2012 seeing as he'll run on the exact common sense things we just saw the Repubs continously say no too

    July 31, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. Anonymous

    The job makers have been getting their tax breaks, but they are not creating the jobs we need to support the growth of America. For Eight years we suffered under Bush. Obama has stopped the bleeding but the wounds are still healing in this economy. Increase the taxs for the so called Job Makers and bring that money and jobs back to the American economy to complete the USA healing process.

    July 31, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. GI Joe

    Wanna see where some of the debt was raised?

    The Virginia Class submarine. (The V-class was designed to attack Soviet subs. There are no more Soviet subs, but Bush ordered three dozen anyway – at $1.8 billion each).

    The GOP's spending continued at record pace, but when the bill arrived, the Republicans looked around, pointed at the working families, seniors, Medicare, veterans' benefits, Medicaid and Social Security, and said, "Let's make those that receive these benefits pay."

    Are you aware that Congressman Cantor, the guy leading the Republicans' refusal to lift the debt ceiling, voted for the V-class sub as well as Bush's bogus scavenger hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Now, Cantor doesn't want to pay the bill.

    July 31, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. david

    he people need to demand action from our politician​s. Make it clear that if a deal is not reached by mondays closing bell, then the fat will be cut. Nobody involved will be reelected.​ And impeachmen​t of congressma​n should be a reality. Down with the two party system.

    July 31, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Zeke

    Nobody can keep borrowing to pay bills. It doesn't work.

    July 31, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. kellycanuck

    "made dramatic progress". Why didn't they make this dramatic progress the last few weeks? Its because of the political posturing and the tea party baloney. Of course they were going to reach a deal at the last minute. Now the democrats and republicans in the country can fight amongst their selves over this until the next election, which will be about the DEBT ceiling and who did what. Its far too late for the USA to look good on this. Your credit limit will still probably be lowered and even if it isn't, the outside world has been watching and looking at you implode within. The rest of the world also knows that your politicians held not only the American people hostage...because that IS exactly what they did....but they also held the rest of the worlds economies hostage as well. You voted the tea party nuts in. And they've been busy alright. Not creating jobs like they said they would. That's the platform they ran on. Ive yet to see anything where the republicans have created any jobs.But they sure are good at signing pledges. They sure are good at doing everything to see your president fail. At any cost. What a shame.

    July 31, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Shame on the GOP for allowing a radical fringe minority like the newbie Tea Party hobbits hold this country hostage. Shame on GOP Tea Party presidential candidates for throwing fuel on the fire.

    July 31, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  17. conoclast

    Remember, the election is still a year away and the republicans' propaganda pockets, thanks to the supreme court, are
    bottomless. Think we'll remember what really happened this past weekend when the ad/spin blitz gets going full blast?

    July 31, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. cath

    agree with all you about tea baggers they are loons they just nailed their own coffins the gop aslo they want to take take take and not tax all those wealthy jackasses who promised jobs along with the gop and t partiers where are the job? but i agree that we should get all of them out asap im so sick of hearing reps say its the only way to take from the (whats left of it) middle class and all those fat cats just keep getting fatter and NO JOBS????? john boehner is one of the worst he likes to hear himself talk then cry what a waste and hes from my state(hate to admit) they just cant put theirselves in others shoes takee the pay and ins and no job insight and let them wallow and see how they feel them. so past mad i want to slap them all and say wake up and its OUR BACKS they are breaking

    July 31, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Joe

    Can anyone say PORK. I live in a community that has 4 hook and ladders with the tallest building in the comunity being 4 stories. This type of waste is repeated in every community in the nation!!!! One small example of government waste. Taxing the so called rich is not the answer, however I do agree with those who say corporations who have elaborate tax dodging scenes should be held accountable. The truth is this crisis is very complex and won't be solved until Americans get their heads out of the sand and take to the streets in PEACEFUL protest's. If we wait I am afraid the protest with become more like what we see coming out of Greece. BTW anyone who do simple math understands that it our current state we do not deserve a AAA bond rating, that's simply a joke.

    July 31, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. the middle

    if we want to look into the passed then we can just go back 2 years when dems had all the power. they could've lifted the tax breaks with little or no fight from the right but they didn't. both sides have a spending problem and cuts need to but made its that simple. each month we take in enough to pay for the major programs and services we need to start pinching our pennies now or we wont have much of a future.

    July 31, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. GI Joe

    Every single Teabagger in the HOUSE is up for re-election next year – VOTE THEM OUT. They have shown themselves to be financial terrorists.

    President Obama did NOT negotiate with the pirates or Osama bin Laden – why is he negotiaing with these financial terrorists at the expence of the most vulnerable in this country?

    Raise taxes (CUT loopholes and subsidies, and tell Norquist to take a flying leap).

    July 31, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. jdhartlv

    Okay here is the deal, we will make the minimum payment on our credit cards and the problem will just go away. WOW WHAT A GENIUS!!!

    July 31, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. cindy

    I can see this now....social security medicare and medicaid will bite the dust at Thanksgiving cuz the teaparty and republicans WILL NOT say yes to anything submitted by the democrats or Independents. this deal can't be done with cuts ONLY. A big fat thanks for nothing to you all

    July 31, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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