Obama now open to a short-term debt hike deal 

Though he had emphatically ruled out the idea of a short-term debt deal, President Obama is now willing to sign one if the parties are close to a bigger agreement but need time to hammer out the details before the Aug. 2 deadline, White House press secretary Jay Carney said today.

"We would not support a short-term extension absent an agreement to a larger deal,” Carney said, ABC's Jake Tapper reports. “That's not acceptable.  Obviously, if both sides agree to something significant, we will support the measures needed to finalize the details of that.”

Obama's new found willingness to support a short-term deal creates an opening for the "Gang of Six" plan, which has been dismissed as too complicated to pass in the under two weeks remaining before the deadline.

But it's also an acknowledgement of the practical reality that any plan would have to be put in legislative language, sent to the Congressional Budget Office to be evaluated, and then pass through the House and Senate, all of which will suck up time that is increasingly short supply.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office was crowing on the news, noting that just last week Obama said "don’t call my bluff” when Cantor was pushing the idea of a short-term deal.

But there was always going to be wiggle room on this issue, because the "no short-term deal" vow was a negotiating position, not an ideological position. 

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Philip Klein

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