GOP, Dems Still Far Apart as Debt Limit Talks Start

Thursday, 05 May 2011 12:26 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republicans and Democrats in Congress begin talks Thursday about which budget process reforms to include as part of a bill to increase the $14.3 trillion debt limit. But the sides are far apart, with taxes the crux of the discord, The Hill reports.

Republicans, Democrats, taxes, debt limitDemocrats support a White House proposal that would trigger automatic tax increases or spending cuts to guarantee that the government meets its goal on debt reduction. But tax hikes are a non-starter for Republicans. They seek a hard cap on spending instead.

Republicans at first were dubious about the negotiations, which are being led by Vice President Joe Biden. But now they express more optimism. “Those talks are beginning Thursday and will, in my view, lead to some kind of conclusion because, as you know, the clock is ticking,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

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