Harry Reid said today on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos that any deal to solve the looming batch of budget fights must, “without question,” include more forms of revenue as a means to further deficit reduction.Reid set up the prospect of the elimination of subsidies to some oil and natural gas companies, invoking former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to make the case for some new revenue-boosting measures.
Congress faces the looming sequester that will start to take effect on March 1, the possibility of a government shutdown at the end of March, and the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling again in August.
“We need to keep our eye on the prize and continue doing something about spending,” Reid said. “But I think that what we need to do is do some of the things that Mitt Romney talked about. He said there’s some low-hanging fruit. There are a lot of tax loopholes that should be closed. I agree with him. We haven’t done that.”
Reid called for ending some oil and gas subsidies, something Romney suggested during the campaign would be something he could agree to as part of a budget deal.
Reid signaled that following Wednesday’s lackluster GDP report that was blamed on a plunge in military spending, saying the massive, across-the-board cuts of the sequester are not the right way to go about further deficit reduction.
“The American people are on our side. The American people don’t believe in these austere things,” Reid said. “We believe that the rich should contribute. We believe we should fill those tax loopholes — get rid of them, I should say. And that’s where we need to go. And I’ve got a pretty good fan base for that: the American people. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.”
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