With a debt ceiling deal now a given and purely a matter of dotting i's and crossing t's, potentially pending a several day debt "breathing room" extension to be approved by Obama, whose TV appearance we expect shortly to provide a conclusion to this "grand compromise" farce, here are some of the key soundbites from the three primary constituents as of their media appearances this morning.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, A REPUBLICAN, ON CNN:
- "We're very close to being in a position where hopefully I can recommend to my members they take a serious look at it and support it."
- "We're hoping that we'll have a significant percentage of them (Republican lawmakers) support it."
- "What we're looking at is a $3 trillion package, a combination of discretionary cuts. Both cuts now, caps over the next 10 years to hold spending in line. And then we're also going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget."
- "This is a process that could get him (President Barack Obama) past the election. We're voting on the combinations that would get us there."
- "The trigger issue has been what's locked us in the extensive discussions ... Now I think we're back in the right place."
SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER, NO. 3 SENATE DEMOCRAT, ON CNN:
- "There is no final agreement. No one has signed off on a final agreement. So it's premature to talk about any specifics."
- "But default is far less of a possibility now than it was even a day ago because the leaders are talking and talking in a constructive way."
- "It seems quite clear that the debt ceiling will be raised enough so that we won't have to come back to this until 2013."
- "Certainly, the enforcement mechanism is one of the key issues that is still being debated and it's one of the issues that's made this process go on for so long."
WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER GENE SPERLING, ON FOX:
- "There is no question we're approaching the final hour. And there is no question, as the president has said repeatedly, if there is a will, there are multiple ways to get there."
- "Here is the key: whatever that enforcement mechanism is, it has to give both sides an incentive to compromise, to come to the table, work something out.
- "There is more than one way to come up with an enforcement mechanism that gives both Democrats and Republicans an incentive to compromise on a balanced deficit reduction plan."