A New Target for the Debt Talks? July 4th

By Eliza

Jun 14, 2011 5:43pm

ABC News' John R. Parkinson (@jrpabcdc ) and Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) report:

After leaving the sixth round of deficit negotiations to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit before the Obama administration’s August 2nd deadline to finalize a deal, Vice President Biden set the first deadline for action by the group.

The vice president, who was appointed by the president to lead the talks with a group of lawmakers from each of the four caucuses, said that the negotiators would hope to present a draft agreement to Congressional leadership by July 4th.

“There’s a lot of give on everybody’s side,” Biden said Tuesday while leaving the Capitol after the meeting.

Lawmakers from both parties in the negotiations have been remarkably silent as far as what progress is actually being made during the talks.  Two meetings ago, the vice president said the group is “on pace” to identify at least $1 trillion in cuts. But Democrats oppose any deal that would include cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare.

Democrats say that new tax revenues must be part of any eventual deal to raise the debt ceiling. Republican leaders in Congress have steadfastly said that the country has “a spending problem” – not a revenue problem – and raising taxes is off the table.

The group will meet a total of three times this week. In addition to Tuesday’s nearly three-hour meeting, the group will meet next on Wednesday morning and again on Thursday.

As Biden was leaving the Capitol a reporter asked the vice president whether Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, should resign. The vice president chuckled before answering: “that topic did not come up in the meeting.”

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