The Obama administration said Tuesday that budget negotiators in Congress would probably fail to strike a far-reaching deal unless Republicans agree to raise revenues and overhaul the tax code. A 29-member congressional committee is trying to set spending levels for the fiscal year that began last month, and many lawmakers want to scrap large spending cuts that started in March. "I don't want to get ahead of the budget conferees," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told a business panel, saying the lawmakers could produce something "small, medium or large."
President Barack Obama said a piecemeal approach to achieving a U.S. immigration overhaul in the U.S. Congress is acceptable to him if it is easier than gaining passage of one large legislative bill. At a Wall Street Journal forum, Obama said he remains optimistic that an elusive immigration overhaul will be completed. A Senate-passed reform bill has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
President Barack Obama warned lawmakers on Tuesday that Iran would make progress in its ability to build a nuclear weapon if there is no diplomatic deal to halt or roll back its nuclear program and urged Congress to hold off on tightening sanctions against Teheran while talks continue. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that "The president underscored that in the absence of a first step, Iran will continue to make progress on its nuclear program by increasing its enrichment capacity, continuing to grow its stockpile of enriched uranium, installing advanced centrifuges, and making progress on the plutonium track,"
World powers meeting with Iran over its disputed nuclear program will seek an agreement that Israel and some U.S. senators say will leave the Middle East under an Iranian nuclear threat and heighten chances for war. Secretary of State John Kerry says, however, that the deal being discussed will calm the Middle East and improve the odds of a better deal in the future. "Nothing that we are doing here, in my judgment, will put Israel at any additional risk," Kerry said in response to Israel's concerns.