Reid and McConnell put together a backup plan.
What is emerging as the most likely outcome is a plan based on Messrs. McConnell and Reid’s work, a Democratic official familiar with negotiations said. It would include roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction, but would not come with tax increases or Medicare savings, the official said. It could include an extension of unemployment insurance, the official said, which costs $40 billion and would be offset by spending cuts.
Mr. Obama suggested in Thursday’s meeting that leaders end tax breaks for ethanol producers, oil and gas companies and corporate jet owners, and offset those tax increases with an extension of the payroll tax credit for employees, a Democratic official familiar with the meeting said, but Republicans said they would not support it.
Mr. Obama said he still prefers a larger plan, but the only way to get even to a $2 trillion deal is to include tax increases, which Republicans flatly oppose, or Medicare cuts, which Democrats oppose without concessions from Republicans on taxes. Mr. Obama will hold a news conference Friday morning.
In other words, if Boehner can browbeat the House Republicans in to budging on tax increases, the Dems are going to cut Medicare. Oh, yay!