Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Monday that negotiations on a grand bargain that would avert the sequester and reach a long-term solution to the nation's deficit spending was complicated by previous negotiations in which Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) felt like "he got rolled under the bus."
During an interview Monday with MSNBC, McCaul said that Republicans were "all for" tax reform and closing loopholes as part of a broader package, but that trust had eroded among Republican leadership.
"I know Boehner has tried to reach this big deal, grand bargain, but he feels like he got rolled under the bus," McCaul said.
McCaul added that Republicans were frustrated by a reluctance on the part of Democrats to address entitlement programs.
"This is a major driver of spending. If we're ever going to get this under control, that's what we need to tackle," McCaul said.
The White House has maintained that it is willing to address entailment reforms as part of a larger deficit-reduction package — but only as part of a deal that would increase tax revenues from the wealthiest individuals and corporations.
"It is not an easy sell to Democrats to go along as part of a big deal with superlative CPI. It is not an easy argument necessarily to get Democrats to go along with the reforms that the President has put in place in his proposal on entitlement reforms or with the spending cuts. It was not easy to sign into law $1.1 trillion in spending cuts. But he has done it, and Democrats have done it," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday.
"And what we haven’t seen from Republicans is anything equivalent," he continued. "And we’re just looking for a negotiating partner here. We’re just looking for somebody to meet us halfway."
McCaul, who serves as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also discussed the looming immigration reform debate, saying he saw border security as the "critical" point for many of his colleagues.
"It's better, but it's not secure," McCaul said.
"We're going to get a lot of equipment from Afghanistan and Iraq that we've already paid for to redeploy to the Southwest border, and I think that's smart, and the more we get that done, the more people on my side of the aisle are going to be more willing to have that debate about immigration reform we need to have," he added.