On the Sunday talk shows, members of Congress sparred over the upcoming budget votes and the ongoing dispute over the cost of 'Obamacare' and entitlement programs such as Medicare. More urgently, if Congress fails to pass an extension to keep the government funded by March 27, agencies and programs face a broad shutdown.
Los Angeles Times: There's No Immediate Debt Crisis, Boehner Says, Agreeing With Obama
The country isn't facing an immediate debt crisis, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday, but he argued that Congress and the president must reform entitlements to avert one that lies dead ahead. "We all know that we have one looming," Boehner said on ABC's "This Week". "And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They're going to go bankrupt" (Parsons, 3/17).
Reuters: Republicans Differ On Flexibility On Taxes With Obama
Leading congressional Republicans said on Sunday a broad deal with President Barack Obama on deficit reduction and entitlement reform remains possible but differed over potential flexibility on taxes .... Such a deal could include curbing spending on costly entitlement programs like the Social Security retirement program and the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. ... Republicans and Democrats in Congress last Tuesday proposed vastly different plans to slash long-term deficits (Dunham, 3/17).