Leaders of a bipartisan "Gang of Six" are nearing agreement on a plan that "broadly mirrors" the White House proposal that would raise the federal debt ceiling and cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the course of a decade, President Obama said on Tuesday.
"The framework that they put forward is broadly consistent with what we've been working on here at the White House," Obama said.
He said he hasn't yet worked through all the details of the "Gang of Six" plan drafted by a group of bipartisan senators, but called the package a "very significant step" towards achieving a long-term deficit deal.
"We're closer now than we've ever been," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Referring to a short-term plan gaining support in Congress that would raise the debt ceiling in smaller increments and achieve little savings, Obama said, "We continue to believe that we can achieve more."
Obama reiterated that Democrats must accept cuts to entitlements and Republicans must accept new revenues as part of a long-term deal.
The president is now urging Congressional leaders to begin "getting down to the hard business of crafiting a plan that can move this forward in time for that Aug. 2 deadline," when the Treasury says the U.S. will default on its debt unless the debt ceiling is raised. He said he will call House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Tuesday afternoon to arrange for a meeting at the White House on the "Gang of Six" proposal.