Conrad: Senate has votes for 'big deal'

There are enough votes among Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to pass a so-called 'grand bargain' debt ceiling increase deal, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Monday.

"In the Senate I believe there is support for the so-called 'big deal' among Democrats and Republicans because that's what it takes to change our fiscal condition and get us moving in the right direction," Conrad (D-N.D.) said on MSNBC.

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"But it does require both sides to give ground, it does require savings on the entitlement side of the ledger and on the revenue side of the ledger."

Conrad's comments come as top congressional leaders continue to meet with Obama in closed door meetings to try and cut a debt ceiling extension deal that also reduces the deficit.

Earlier on Monday President Obama again said he wanted to see a $4 trillion deal that includes both added revenues and spending cuts. Recently, Republicans have rejected that "grand bargain" saying it was too heavy with tax increases and have instead recently shown more openness to a smaller $2.4 trillion plan originally proposed by the debt limit increase commission lead by Vice President Biden.

"I think it's critically important to keep the pressure on both sides, not to settle, not just getting by — just kicking the can down the road but in fact to go for what in fact we all know the country needs which is the 'grand bargain', the 'big deal', $4 trillion of deficit reduction to get our debt going down, to put America on a stronger fiscal foundation going forward, that's really what's required," Conrad continued. "I believe it's still achievable."

Shortly before Conrad's statements, Obama held a press conference in which he urged Republicans to embrace the $4 trillion deal. Obama said that he thought House Speaker Boehner wanted to pass "something big."

“I think he's a good man who wants to do right by the country,” Obama said. 

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