House Minority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Getty Images)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer wants Washington to work out a debt-reduction deal now — before the November elections — instead of waiting even longer to sort out the nation’s finances.

As colleague Lori Montgomery reports, Hoyer said Monday that policymakers should stave off across-the-board cuts set to hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies in January as part of last summer’s agreement over the federal debt ceiling. But the only sensible way to keep those budgets intact, he said during a speech at the Democratic think tank Third Way, would be a so-called grand bargain to raise taxes and restrain entitlement spending.

“It is not going to get easier to reach an agreement. In fact, it will only get more difficult as time passes, and our debt grows,” Hoyer said. “That’s one reason why I will keep pushing to reach an agreement before November — and why everyone concerned about our debt ought to do so, as well.”

Read Lori’s full report on the speech — and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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