Klobuchar: Grand bargain on deficit still within reach

When asked point-blank on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” whether she believed a grand bargain could be reached, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) replied: "I do." 

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"The American people will not stand for this anymore," said of the fiscal stalemate that has blocked lawmakers from a deal. 

"There are [several] things we can do" to trim government spending, such as closing a number of corporate loopholes in the current tax code ,while ensuring critical social welfare programs remain viable, she added. 

However, House and Senate Republicans would have to acknowledge that tax increases must be part of that equation, she insisted. 

Klobuchar’s optimism was matched by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who told “Fox News Sunday” that he sees a four to five month window in which to obtain a grand deficit bargain.  

“I think Republicans if they saw true entitlement reform would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues," said Corker. 

But "that doesn't mean increasing rates that means closing loopholes, that . . . means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth,” he added. 

Their comments come after President Obama’s week-long effort to reach out to lawmakers from both parties. The president visited Capitol Hill to speak with Democrats and Republicans from both chambers on a wide range of issues, but with a focus on building a framework to reach a deficit deal.

Despite those efforts, House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) remained unconvinced either side will be able to come together on a large-scale deficit deal. 

“I don't know whether we can come to a big agreement,” said Boehner in an Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week.” 

“If the president doesn't believe that the goal oughta be to balance the budget over the next ten years-- I don't-- not sure we're gonna get very far,” he added. 

But the battle between congressional Republicans and the Obama administration does not mean House and Senate lawmakers cannot come up with their own bipartisan plan, according to Boehner. 

"Hopefully, we can go to conference on these budgets and hope springs eternal in my mind,” Boehner said.