Update: Two key Republican Senators opposed a deficit reduction plan including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins endorsed cutting corporate subsidies as part of the agreement.
“There are solvency problems with both programs,” Snowe told the Bangor Daily News. “They have to be addressed but not as part of the debt reduction talks.”
The two Senators also signed onto a plan to reintroduce the Balanced Budget Amendment last week — a largely symbolic gesture.
Snowe said she believes a deal must have both revenues and spending cuts in order to pass the Congress — an argument put forward by House Democrats earlier today.
“We are not talking about raising tax rates,” she said, “but there are a lot of tax credits that are not needed and should be repealed.”
Earlier: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) drew the Democrats’ line in the sand at this afternoon’s negotiating session on raising the debt limit and lowering the deficit.
Facing down Republican leaders demanding steep budget cuts without new taxes, Hoyer said his caucus would not vote for a deal that did not include increased tax revenues.
“I said at the White House meeting today that Dems won’t vote for a package without revenues,” he said in a tweet.
Speaker of the House John Boehner said his caucus would not agree to revenues unless Democrats agreed to significant reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.
Many Democrats have balked at including entitlements in the deficit reduction package — especially if they would result in benefit cuts.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid “should not be used as a piggy-bank to subsidise tax cuts for the wealthy,” and should not be included in a deal.
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