Unwilling to negotiate with Democrats on tax increases, Republicans are willing to agree to cuts in defence spending to reach a compromise on raising the debt ceiling.After congressional Republicans pulled out of the Vice President Joe Biden-led talks over Democrats’ insistence that tax hikes be included in any agreement, GOP leaders have indicated their caucus might support defence cuts, The Washington Post reports.
Just months ago such a proposal would be quickly condemned — even by many Democrats — but more and more Republicans bent on eliminating waste and lowering spending are turning their sights to the Pentagon budget.
The GOP leadership says it would be easier for their caucus to pass a debt ceiling increase that includes cuts to defence spending than one that includes tax hikes — which Speaker of the House John Boehner has said is impossible.
President Barack Obama has stated that any deal must include a “balanced approach” that doesn’t protect corporations and the largest earners on the backs of the least fortunate.
Some in the Democratic caucus are amenable to substituting defence cuts for revenue increases.
“If we can get $100 billion from reducing unneeded military spending, that’s better than $100 billion in taxation,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told the Post.
Obama will meet with the Senate leadership today to try to restart the talks, which have been “in abeyance” since last week.
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