After Latest Round Of Deficit Talks, Biden Says “Revenues Are Going To Have To Be In The Deal”

By Matt Jaffe

May 24, 2011 6:50pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:

Vice President Joe Biden today emerged from the latest round of deficit talks with the bipartisan group of lawmakers from each of the four caucuses in Congress to say that new tax revenues need to be part of any eventual deal to raise the debt ceiling.

“We’re confident that if we keep on this pace we can get to a relatively large number. We discussed – I made it clear today revenues are going to have to be in the deal and everybody knows that at the end of the day we’re going to have to make some really tough decisions on some of the big-ticket items, but I think we’re in a position where we’ll be able to get well above a trillion dollars pretty quickly,” Biden said.

Republican leaders in Congress have steadfastly said that the country has “a spending problem” – not a revenue problem – and raising taxes is not an option.

Biden told reporters that for evidence of the group’s progress, they need look no further than the fact that the bipartisan group of negotiators has been tight-lipped about the meetings.

“We’ve been having serious meetings about the most critical issue facing the country economically and everybody is still talking to one another and they’re not talking much to you and that’s evidence that it is serious,” he said.

In fact, the one gripe that Biden voiced tonight was not with Republicans, but rather with the conflicting schedules of the two chambers of Congress.

“It is a little inconvenient, totally unintended, the House is out one week, the Senate is out another week, so we all agreed that we can’t just meet on the weeks only when the House and Senate are in, so my friends in the House and the Senate are trying to work out on one of the recesses of the Senate, the senators are going to stay and on one of the recesses of the House, the House is going to stay, so we can continue to push through,” he said.

Before he left Capitol Hill, one reporter asked Biden if Republicans accepted that revenues need to be on the negotiating table, to which the vice president quipped with a chuckle, “Republicans love it!”


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