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|Biden: Revenues Needed as Part of Debt Limit Bill|
|Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press|
|Thursday, 26 May 2011 06:09|
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that new revenues need to be part of any agreement with Republicans on legislation to raise the limit on how much money the government can borrow to continue to meet its obligations.
The vice president also said talks were on pace to produce deficit cuts exceeding $1 trillion and that the talks would extend to procedural mechanisms known as "triggers" to force further automatic deficit cuts to bring the total to $4 trillion if lawmakers were unable to come up with the savings in future legislation.
"I've made it clear today ... revenues have to be in the deal," Biden told reporters after meeting with GOP negotiators.
"Tax increases are not going to be something that we'll support," said Majority Leader Eric Canter of Virginia, who's representing House Republicans in the talks. But he concurred that "progress is being made."
Biden wasn't specific about what new revenues the White House wants as part of any agreement, and he didn't directly call for any tax increases.
For instance, Obama's budget includes $85 billion in user fees over the next decade. Such fees are charged to those most directly using government services and include $28 billion expected from auctioning off part of the nation's airwaves and $23 billion from more than doubling the airport security ticket tax from a maximum of $5 per one-way trip to $11 by 2014. Negotiators already have discussed possible increases in pension costs for federal employees, which would also reduce the deficit.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he's confident that a rollback of tax breaks for big oil companies will be part of any final pact.