Issa: Any Deal Must Address 'The Excesses That Need to Be Reined In'

By Susan Jones | October 15, 2013 | 6:10 AM EDT

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (AP Photo)

( - "I look forward to the government reopening and getting back to really dealing with entitlements and with waste in government," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday evening.

Asked if House Republicans would approve a deal that excludes Obamacare, Issa said they need to vote for something that deals with entitlements and "the excesses that need to be reined in.

"That's what sequestration was about, even though it was a bad solution," Issa said. So I think as long as we're dealing with entitlements, Obamacare being an entitlement, but there's a lot of other entitlements and a lot of waste in government that we keep showing, but not dealing with."

The deal shaping up in the Senate reportedly would fund the government through January 15, raise the nation's debt limit through Feb. 15, and have House and Senate Budget Committee conferees try to work out their spending differences by the end of the year.

"If that's the deal, are you ready to go along with it?" Blitzer asked Issa.

"Well, Wolf, as you know, you have to read the whole deal. We have called Obamacare as a result of people not reading some of the details. But the basic idea of creating a breathing room, a cooling-off period, and going into negotiation, not on the budget number, but on really dealing with the entitlements and other excesses, so we can intelligently cut waste and excess in government, absolutely. And I think you are going to find overwhelming support if that deal is defined in a way in which we know it will happen."

Speaking at a soup kitchen in Washington Monday, President Obama said there is no problem with deficits: "The problem is not that our deficits are going up; our deficits have actually been cut in half since I came into office and are continuing to go down."

Obama repeatedly makes the point about deficits coming down, but the problem he ignores is how high they went in the first place during his presidency.

As reported in August, 2012 marked the fourth straight year — and the only four years in the history of the nation -- when the federal government’s deficit topped $1 trillion. The deficit also has remained at a higher percentage of Gross Domestic Product over the last four years than at any time since the conclusion of World War II.

Issa told CNN he hopes President Obama "is not playing games with Republicans" who intend to hold him to his promise "that we are going to make real entitlement reform, and drive down the budget -- or the deficit -- by something other than huge tax increases."