Mitch McConnell, James Clyburn Encourage Opposition to Focus and Compromise in Budget Talks

Revenue hike remains roadblock in budget battle.

ByABC News
June 26, 2011, 11:07 AM

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2011— -- Debt-reduction talks came to a standstill last week with Republican leaders walking away from the negotiating table. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who will meet with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Leader Harry Reid on Monday says that Republicans are eager to "wrap up" budget talks.

"It need not necessarily go the 11th hour," McConnell said in an interview with ABC News "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour. "Both the democrats and the Republicans would like to come together and finish this negotiation and finish it sometime soon."

Democratic insider on the talks Assistant Minority Leader Representative James Clyburn, D-S.C., said he thought negotiations between the two sides were progressing before the breakdown.

Between $1.4 to $2 trillion of cuts were made out of the $4 trillion in reductions that are needed.

Clyburn says he's confident an agreement will be met.

"The President is meeting this week with both leaders in the Senate in separate meetings," Clyburn said. "They will come to some agreement."

McConnell stressed that both sides now need to focus on starting a productive dialogue.

"I think we need to put aside our talking points and get down to something that can actually pass," said McConnell. "The whole business of raising taxes regardless of how you go about it is something this Congress is not likely to do."

A major breakdown in talks began with issues over raising revenues, with Republicans remaining steadfast that they would not increase taxes.

But Clyburn countered saying that the tax hikes proposed would be for co-operations and cutting ethanol and oil subsidies.

"We want to close the loopholes up. We don't want to raise anybody's tax rate. That's never been on the table," said Clyburn.

A Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution in the Senate will go to a vote the week of July 18.

McConnell claims "all 47 Republicans in the Senate" support the amendment which could play into a vote to raise the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.

"We think it's' important to take advantage of this opportunity to do something really important to move the country in a different direction," said McConnell.