Obama endorses Gang plan as ‘good news’

President Obama on Tuesday hailed as “good news” a deficit-reduction package announced by the Senate’s Gang of Six.

Obama, making his third appearance in eight days in the White House briefing room, appeared to endorse the plan, which would reduce the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next decade and eliminate $1 million in tax loopholes.

He said the group of six senators had come up with a proposal that the president said is “broadly consistent with the approach I’ve urged.”

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He also said the back-up plan being put together by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) “continues to be a necessary approach to put forward” to ensure that the U.S. does not default if a broader deal fails to come together.

Obama warned that time is running out, and that here, in the “11th hour,” Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday should be “prepared to start talking turkey.”

The president acknowledged that the economy and Wall Street have thus far acted as though Washington will arrive at a deal, but he warned that it will not last.

“So far at least, the markets have shown confidence that the leaders in Washington aren’t going to send the economy over a cliff,” Obama said.

But if a deal fails to materialize, the president said, the markets, the American people and the world will “start reacting adversely fairly quickly.”

The president said there is no time left for “symbolic gestures” or posturing.

The president dismissed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” measure backed by House Republicans that will come up for a floor vote on Tuesday, but said he understood “the need for them to test that proposition.”

Obama on Monday threatened to veto the measure, which is dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The president also said he would call House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and arrange for more meetings at the White House.