MIAMI - Two South Florida members of Congress say they're cautiously optimistic a deal can be worked out to raise the nation's debt ceiling and cut back government spending before an Aug. 2 deadline.
"We are listening. We are not totally tone deaf; we understand cuts need to be made," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-District 18 in Miami, told Local 10 political reporter Michael Putney by satellite from Washington.
Ros-Lehtinen said she supports a new budget-cutting plan proposed Monday by House Speaker John Boehner but conceded the speaker may not have enough votes to get it passed. A vote is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.
"We have to find a solution and I'm optimistic," said Ros-Lehtinen.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-District 20 in Broward, was slightly less optimistic in another interview with Putney.
"I think we'll find a solution before the deadline," she said.
Wasserman Schultz, who also chairs the Democratic National Committee, hewed to the Democratic Party line and echoed the president's call for a "balanced" approach to cutting government spending.
"We want to make sure there's a balanced plan so there's sacrifice on both sides of the ledger," the Democrat said.
She added that most economists favor a long-term solution to the nation's budget deficit problem rather than the six-month fix proposed by Boehner.
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