Republican senators and top administration aides have been meeting for weeks to try to find a way to avoid a crisis when the federal government hits its debt limit this fall, reports the National Journal
"Everybody's trying to assess whether we can accomplish something that would be big," Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina told the publication. "Big is reforming entitlements and it's impossible to see a path where you get additional revenue without tax reform being part of it."
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is reportedly running the meetings, which includes Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. In addition to Burr, the GOP senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and John McCain of Arizona, who told the Journal the talks are still in the "embryonic stage," are involved.
According to the Journal, Obama's offer from December of $600 billion in new tax revenue in exchange for $400 billion in Medicare and other healthcare cuts remains the same
Burr said Republicans want the new revenue to come from a mix of entitlement and tax reform, and structural reforms to cut spending.
"You can't accomplish big things in Washington without a level of trust between both parties. That's in the process of trying to be rebuilt," he told the Journal.
"It doesn’t' exist right now. And I think this is the best formula to try to rebuild it. The jury's still out as to whether we can accomplish it."
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