McConnell: 'We look a lot like Greece already'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (Ky.) said Wednesday that the financial state of the U.S. is similar to bankrupt Greece.

Making the case for major spending reductions a day before congressional leaders will meet with President Obama, McConnell said, "We look a lot like Greece already."

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During their weekly press breifing, other Senate Republican leaders lashed out at Obama, questioning his leadership on the debt-ceiling talks.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems lambaste Trump’s ‘outrageous’ EPA chemical safety pick Overnight Regulation: EPA misses smog rule deadline | Search is on for new HHS chief | ACLU sues over abortion pill restrictions | Justices weigh gerrymandering Price resignation sets off frenzy of speculation over replacement MORE (R-Wyo.) said, "We need a serious discussion and we're not getting it yet."

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) pushed back at Democrats' criticism of the GOP's insistence of no tax increases. He said the party's position is not one of "ideological fervor," but instead an effort to foster more jobs.

Pressed on House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE's (R-Va.) willingness to look at closing tax loopholes, McConnell noted his support for comprehensive tax reform.

In a nuanced break from Cantor, McConnell said any effort to "cherry pick" tax loopholes as part of the debt-ceiling talks would be "pretty challenging."

McConnell stressed that he and other Republican leaders in the Senate want a long-term deal on the debt ceiling. That remark came days after McConnell and his lieutenants signaled they were open to a short-term agreement.

Obama on Tuesday strongly endorsed a long-term deal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.), who usually addresses the media before Senate Republican leaders every week when the upper chamber is in session, did not hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon.