Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) will meet privately Monday with President Barack Obama concerning the looming budget crisis. Kentucky's senior senator will tell the President that tax increases are not likely to pass Congress, so the administration should "negotiate something that actually has a chance."
Without a vote to increase the nation's debt limit, the United States is due to run out of borrowing authority in August. Bipartisan talks led by Vice-President Joe Biden collapsed on Thursday when Republicans walked out of the talks.
On ABC's This Week on Sunday morning, McConnell sounded a pragmatic tone, urging all sides to focus on a deal that actually has a chance of passing.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we ought to put aside our talking points and get down to what can actually pass,” McConnell said. “The whole business of raising taxes -- regardless of how you go about it -- is something that this Congress is not likely to do. The last Congress wasn't willing to do it, so we need to talk about what can pass.
McConnell says a good reason to meet on Monday is so the talks don't unnecessarily fo into the 11th hour. He added that it would reassure the world for the U.S. to come together now and do something about the debt.
McConnell said that senate will vote on a constitutional balanced budget amendment the week of July 18.
Politico's David Rogers explains McConnell's approach to the talks:
Thus far, McConnell has been the consummately cautious, smart, partisan realist whose instincts are to think small, protect himself from tea party critics and use the 2012 elections to consolidate power and possibly win back control of the Senate.
He has ruled out tax revenues — including closing loopholes or ending tax subsidies — to get a deal, then promised to punish Senate Democrats by forcing them to raise the debt ceiling alone this summer if no deal is reached. And to the annoyance of House GOP leaders, McConnell has promoted a more incremental approach — one that would avert default in August but also require at least a second round of floor votes on the debt ceiling before the 2012 elections.