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Sunday
Jul242011

Timothy Geithner Says Obama and Boehner Resume Talks on Comprehensive Deal

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that talks on a "comprehensive, balanced" budget deal between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner have resumed after discussion between the two leaders came to a standstill on Friday, and he hopes that a framework on an agreement "should happen today."

"Both leaders recognize they're running out of time," Geithner said in an interview with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour. "They need to get this process moving in the House on Monday night. To achieve that deadline, they need to have a framework that they know with great confidence will pass both houses of Congress, is acceptable to the President, and that should happen today."

Geithner said that there is progress being made, with two potential agreements on the table.

The first deal would include what Geithner called a "comprehensive, balanced set of savings on the spending side to help secure Medicare and Medicaid for the future, and tax reform that would generate revenues."

The other approach would be the plan by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would call for Congress to make proposed spending cuts in exchange for allowing the president to raise the debt ceiling.

With the imminent opening of Asian markets, Geithner reassured the world economies that the United States would not default on its debt obligations.

"The leaders of Congress have said unequivocally, Republicans not just Democrats, that we will meet our obligations. We are not going to default," Geithner said. "What we're trying to do is to not just achieve that, but make sure that we put in place a framework that allows Congress to make the tough decisions we need to make to get our fiscal house in order."

He added that this would be a critical test for American politics to see if there could be bipartisanship to make a deal.

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