US lawmakers voice new confidence in deficit deal
Raising taxes has long been anathema to Republicans, who say government's spending must be cut to reduce deficits and taxes reduced to stimulate job creation in an economy where unemployment is 7.9 percent.
Boehner told reporters after Friday's meeting that he had outlined a framework for negotiations that ``is consistent with the president's call for a fair and balanced approach.'' He did not provide details, except to say it ``deals with reforming our tax code and reforming our spending,'' a reference to benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
An aide said Boehner's approach calls for agreement on long-term revenue and spending targets to be set into law, presumably this year, leaving details to 2013 on an overhaul of the tax code and remaking benefit programs.
“There is no more `let's do it some other time,''' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, ``We're going to do it now. ... We feel very comfortable with each other, and this isn't something we're going to wait until the last day of December to get it done.''
Obama favors $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade, in part by allowing existing cuts to expire on Dec. 31 on higher incomes.
White House officials claim an overall deficit reduction package totaling more than $4 trillion, although that includes $1 trillion in spending cuts agreed to last year, and an additional $1
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