ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports:
The prospect of a so-called “grand bargain” major deal on deficit reduction looks slightly more optimistic than it did earlier in the week, with frantic talks continuing between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
But even if they cut a deal on the order of $4 trillion in deficit reductions, that doesn’t guarantee that it passes the GOP-controlled House.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Kevin Brady, vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said he trusts Boehner to represent House Republicans’ views in negotiations. But he said talk of a deal that includes revenues – even if that’s closing tax loopholes – is a non-starter for him in the context of raising the debt ceiling.
“The answer really needs to be on the spending side. And personally, I feel the discussions about a grand bargain is really a distraction,” said Brady, R-Texas. “We really need to focus on the financial side of this equation. Fundamental tax reform will come when both parties will make very difficult decisions on how to dial the rates down. But to do that you have to give up some very politically powerful and explosive deductions and credits. I don't know if the president is willing to do that a few months before his election.”
Brady said he is also skeptical of any plan that promises future cuts instead of immediate spending reductions.
“We want to see it up front,” he said. “You know Washington, how Washington is — they'll take the spending increases up-front. Spending cuts end up being fairy tale. And I think we want strong … verifiable cuts at the beginning, and those caps so that discipline [is imposed] on future spending.”
And he said he anticipates that any deal will pass on the strength of a majority of Republican votes in the House.
“We're a majority because I think we listen very closely to the American people, about getting America's financial house in order. I expect whatever plan passes to have the majority of Republicans,” Brady said. “The clock's ticking. We think we need to move something by mid-next week.”
Watch the full interview with Rep. Kevin Brady HERE.