Dem source: Obama working on $3T debt deal

President Barack Obama discusses the continuing budget talks, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in the the briefing room of the White House in Washington.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

President Obama is working on a deal to raise the debt ceiling with House Speaker John Boehner that would make $3 trillion in cuts over 10 years but include no new government revenues, a Democratic congressional aide told CBS News today.

Mr. Obama conveyed this to congressional leaders last night, the aide told CBS News Senior Political Producer Jill Jackson.

A White House official tells CBS News that there is no such deal. The official reiterated the point made by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who said earlier today, "There is no deal, we are not close to a deal."

Boehner has also denied that they are close to a deal, and Republican congressional aides are also denying it.

According to the Democratic aide, the plan in the works would include some promise of tax reform in 2012 and would set a target for when that needs to be done. If the target were not met, then the Bush tax cuts would expire for those making over $250,000 per year.

House Speaker John Boehner said in a press conference Thursday that "any deal is going to have to involve some compromise." Yet if the plan for revenue increases is to simply let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, Mr. Obama wouldn't be asking Republicans for anything new.

When Mr. Obama extended the Bush tax cuts in December of 2010, he promised to let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. "In the long run, we simply can't afford them," he said during a press conference on Dec. 7, 2010. "And when they expire in two years, I will fight to end them, just as, I suspect, the Republican Party may fight to end the middle-class tax cuts that I champion and that they've opposed."

Democratic leaders have not seen the actual details of the plan, according to the aide, but the understanding is that the $3 trillion in cuts would include changes to the Social Security cost-of-living formula and changes to Medicare.

Boehner and the White House have said that nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to -- and thus may be unwilling to reveal the details of any emerging deal. Furthermore, acknowledging a deal would put Boehner in a tough position, since the Senate is still debating the House-passed "cut, cap and balance plan" -- the GOP plan to make raising the debt ceiling contingent upon passing a balanced budget amendment. The "cut, cap and balance" plan has no chance in the Senate, but Boehner does not want to appear as if he's undercutting the House Republican caucus by already agreeing to another deal.

The Democrats' liberal base, already angered over the president's willingness to include cuts to Social Security and Medicare in the deal, expressed outrage over the description of this latest potential deal.

"The Democratic base did not work night and day to elect Democrats so that they could cave to Tea Party extremists who are intent on gutting the social safety net millions of us fought to establish and protect," Justin Ruben, executive director of the liberal grassroots group, said in a statement. "Leaders Pelosi and Reid have been clear that a deal that includes no revenues, or that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, cannot get the votes of their respective caucuses. Democratic Members of Congress must keep up this strong stance."

Democratic leaders -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Steny Hoyer -- are meeting with the president at the White House at 5:30 p.m., according to a White House official.