With the deadline for the deficit-cutting Congressional supercommittee rapidly approaching, President Obama urged lawmakers today to abandon their “rigid positions” and reach a consensus, warning there are no “magic beans” to solve the deficit problem.
“My hope is that over the next several days, the congressional leadership on the supercommittee go ahead and bite the bullet and do what needs to be done because the math won’t change,” Obama told reporters at a press conference. “There’s no magic formula. There are no magic beans that you can toss in the ground and suddenly a bunch of money grows on trees. We’ve got to just go ahead and do the responsible thing.”
With just ten days to go, the president urged lawmakers not to try and change the automatic cuts triggered if the committee fails to lower the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.
“The whole idea of the sequester was to make sure that both sides felt obligated to move off rigid positions and do what was required to help the country. Since that time, they’ve had a lot of conversations but it feels as if people continue to try to stick with their rigid positions rather than solve the problem,” Obama said. “It just feels as if people keep on wanting to jigger the math so that they get a different outcome. Well the equation, no matter how you do it, is going to be the same. If you want a balanced approach … then prudent cuts have to be matched up with revenue.”
The president, however, stopped short of saying he would veto a bill that attempts to turn off part or all of the sequester.
“I’m not going to comment on whether I veto a particular bill until I actually see a bill because I still hold out the prospect that there’s going to be a light bulb moment where everybody says ‘ah ha,’ here’s what we’ve got to do,” he said.