ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf (@zbyronwolf) reports:
Rep. Xavier Becerra, a member of the Democratic leadership declared something unequivocal and important on ABC News’ Top Line today.
“There will be a deal,” he said of high-level negotiations seeking to raise the U.S. credit limit.
But it won’t be easy to achieve anything between now and the August 2nd deadline imposed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither. And Becerra made clear he things it is Republicans who have to move.
“It’s become clear as Governor Ann Richards former governor of Texas used to say, get over it, get on with it I think that’s the message to house republicans even I think Senator McConnell Republican in the Senate is saying the same thing to House republicans you’ve taken us to the brink of the cliff this game of chicken is no longer against the president or against Democrats,” he said.
Becerra was referring to the backup plan suggested yesterday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, who said if Democrats and Republicans can’t coalesce around a long-term proposal, then Congress should give the President the ability to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion – thru 2013. Congress would get to periodically consider resolutions of approval on his treatment of the debt ceiling, but the President would have the ability to veto them.
“To be honest to be a true negotiator you have to say I’m willing to put my ego and and my Kool-Aid aside and go to the negotiating table and try to reach out a deal with folks I don’t totally agree with,” he said. But while Becerra compared the debt negotiations to a game of chicken, he argued that Democrats should not be the ones to accept House GOP demands and pass a debt ceiling increase that does not include revenue measures (taxes) to offset government spending cuts.
Becerra argued that the tax measures target the wealthy, so they should be accepted.
“At the end of the day, no one is talking about – but Republicans, my colleagues and the Republicans that keeping talking about how Democrats want to tax everyone. That’s not true. Not everyone drives or flies in corporate jets not everyone gets to drill for oil and get a subsidy from doing so not everyone is making zillions of dollars and getting tax breaks that reduce their rates of taxation lower than the secretaries that work for these folks. We’re talking about bringing that tax group back to some sense of fairness and that means all those folks who benefitted under the Bush tax cuts through millions of breaks should come to the table and sacrifice the way all of our soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and our families are doing today as they try to figure out how to pay their mortgage and feed the family.”
The Republican counter-argument has been that closing those tax loopholes in a time of economic distress, could cost private sector jobs.
Earlier, Becerra said the government needs to come together like the women’s soccer team, which after a thrilling 3-1 victory over France this afternoon is now headed to the World Cup final match in Germany this weekend.
“I don’t know if I can tell you exactly what will happen with the deal,” he said. “But I can tell you the women will win today against France and that should give us some good news but, uh, turning it to Washington DC if we could only act like the women’s soccer team we could probably do a lot better.”
Watch the full interview HERE.