Nightly News   |  March 02, 2013

Both sides look ahead to budget talks

NBC’s David Gregory joins Lester Holt with more on the political impasse in Washington over the sequester.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the politics of this impasse let's bring in david gregory moderator of "meet the press." david, you sat down with speaker boehner for an interview. do you get a sense there is a face saving solution for either side in this?

>> reporter: well, i think for the republicans they have rallied around the idea this may be a clumsy way of cutting spending but is still a spending cut and that is preferable to raising taxes . i talked about the dynamic with speaker boehner between him and the president harkening back to the meeting they had friday. here is part of that exchange. what goes on in these meetings? you talk about a nice conversation. you keep talking about your relationship being pretty good with the president. it's hard for any of us to believe that, given how personal it seems, given how pointed the language seems to be, and that you're just at such a basic philosophical, ideological, practical disagreement. i mean, you've got -- congress left town.

>> we had a very pleasant meeting, but it was also a very frank meeting. i made it clear to the president that he got a trillion dollars worth of tax hikes in obama care. he got another $650 billion worth of tax hikes on january 1st . you can't tax our way out of this problem.

>> this is the issue. right now as speaker of the house , boehner has already faced the revolt among tea party conservatives, other conservatives in his caucus. he can't do any more in his estimation and, you know, you think about the leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell , he's up for re-election in kentucky next year, so he has little room to maneuver. it seems like this is going to go a little farther down the line, lester, into the big budget talks. that's where you could see some trading around taxes and entitlement cuts then.

>> that leads to my next question because as kristen pointed out the sky didn't fall today. this is going to roll out over a series of weeks. is there another deadline that may be a bit more subtle but that both sides have their eye on to get this done?

>> i really think it's the budget talks. what we learned yesterday, the president and speaker boehner say they don't want to shut the government down in several weeks over the rest of the funding for this year.

>> all right. david gregory , thanks very much. a reminder you can see david's entire interview with house speaker boehner tomorrow on "meet the press" here on nbc.