House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
, R-Va., acknowledges that a deal with the White House on a plan to remake Medicare is unlikely. Instead, debt reduction talks with Vice President Joe Biden will focus on areas that the two sides can agree on, The Washington Post reported
Those areas include farm subsidies to wealthy farmers, expanding government auctions of broadcast spectrum and limiting lawsuits against doctors. Cantor said the GOP is convinced that overhauling Medicare is key to stabilizing the nation’s finances but recognizes a consensus was unlikely after President Barack Obama “excoriated us,” the Post reported.
Democrats said the move could clear the way for a compromise that would allow Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Cantor said Republicans in the House want spending cuts in the 2012 budget, enforceable targets that would require the government to reduce spending, and action on legislation to meet those goals, according to the Post.
Cantor wants immediate action on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but said negotiators could avoid the “big three” by focusing on changes in other areas. “If we can come to some agreement [and] act to effect those savings now, this year, it will yield a lot of savings in subsequent years,” he said.
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