Debt ceiling talks turn to revenues
July 14th, 2011
02:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Debt ceiling talks turn to revenues

Washington (CNN) – As increasingly tense debt limit talks continue Thursday afternoon, "revenue neutral items" are expected to be the focus, according to a senior administration official.

This is the moment, according to the source, when the administration hopes the GOP will deliver specifics on what, if any, revenue raisers Republicans would be willing to accept in exchange for tax cuts.

For instance, the official questioned whether the GOP might be willing to change the depreciation formula for oil and gas companies in order to get an extension of the payroll tax cuts.

"We could come in today to discover that (Majority Leader Eric) Cantor, (House Speaker) Boehner and (Senate Minority Whip Jon) Kyl say no to everything," the source said. "We want them to tell us what special things they will consider to get their tax cuts."

Obama gave a Friday deadline for an assessment of the talks.

Discussions have been tense at times, and some of the key players appeared to not be participating beyond attendance.

The official said Cantor "is the only one who talks" in the sessions.

"I think (Senate Minority Leader Mitch) McConnell has said 'hello' and 'goodbye,'" the source added. "(Speaker) Boehner says nothing."

As the brinksmanship continues, the administration source noted the president did walk out of the talks Wednesday, but made it clear he did not walk out in the middle of a discussion about potential solutions.

"It's not like he walked out in the middle of the discussion. People had made their final points," he said.

From the administration's point of view, it's the Republicans who are having a tough time getting their act together–particularly at the leadership levels. The Democratic official said the GOP is fracturing as Cantor "sees an opportunity on Boehner and he's going to drive a truck through it."

Politically, the source added, "the tail is wagging the dog" in the GOP. "This is what happens when you are sitting on top of a tidal wave (of House freshmen) you didn't create."

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • GOP
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "This is what happens when you are sitting on top of a tidal wave (of House freshmen) you didn't create."

    They sure did create them. Astroturf Frankenstein just got all sorts of out of their control and is now willing to turn on its master just like the monster in the book. Of course, if there's a default or even if the credit rating gets messed up and exacerbates the deficit/debt issue, then the pitchforks and torches will probably come out eventually. One might wonder where the mob turns next after lynching Astroturf Frankenstein. Does the GOP really think that they're not second on the list?

    July 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. ABM

    Let's see what dramtics the GOP will come up with today to save the rich from paying their fair share. I am preparing campaign donation of tissues for Cantor.

    July 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Name linval

    Do these republicans really care about the american people? Maybe they are foreigners thats why they dont care about us americans. If they really care about us they would get on board with the president to raise the debt ceiling please put us first than their hidden agendas.

    July 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. rs

    Raise revenue rates NOW. At a bare minimum we beed to go back to pre-2001 income tax levels, and prefereably we ought to add 1% to the top bracket after that.

    If Republicans really wanted to pay down the debt (and they don't), they weould embrace the wisdom of Reagan, who raised taxes several times.

    Failing that, Boehner, McConnel et al need to resign. They are failures to an entrenched, elistist, anti-American mindset.

    July 14, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Lando

    Not only the ceiling will drop down on the Rebublibans but the whole building if they put the whole country in jeopardy...
    We the people are listening and know the facts...

    July 14, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Anyone who believes that you can just suddenly cut spending down to a balanced budget in one year is nuts.

    Anyone who thinks we do not need to raise our debt limit to pay for our past expenditures is bug nuts.

    Anyone who thinks we can come close do any of the above needs an arithmetic lesson.
    Just so that you know where the Republicans stand on spending. They have proposed tens of billions of dollars in new defense spending in their FY2011 budget, and plan on adding even more next year. Along with additional revenue cuts. Anyone who thinks those are long term solutions to our problems, and not a short term money grab, must be on the recieving end of the taxpayer dollars.

    July 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    The President said he cannot guarantee any payments will be made on time and he cannot, WE HAVE NEVER DEFAULTED ON OUR LEGAL DEBTS BEFORE! One thing we do know, is pension and hedge funds will have to dump billions of bonds if Moody's drops the credit rating because bylaws require they only invest in the best and if we are downgraded, we will not be the best. Just paying the interest debt, is still looked upon as a "selective default" by credit rating companies. Picking and choosing who or what to pay will cause almost as much chaos as a full default.

    None of the tea bagging "Freshmen" in the House seem to understand these concepts, economics is not black or white, there are grey areas, and those simpletons simply cannot grasp the concept, they live on Fox sound bytes, spoon fed to them like pablum to a baby.

    Just trying to explain the budget is the place for the deficit discussion and NOT combine it with the debt ceiling is exhausting.

    McConnell, Boehner and Cantor have all stated they would never compromise and have yards of video to prove it, so, let them cause the SS checks to not be guaranteed, the GOP will pay a high price for years to come. Not to mention little Princess Cantor storms out of the Biden meetings like a 4 year old that could not wear the tiara when playing dress up.

    Of course, they have stated many times how the GOP agenda is for "America to fail", now we know they meant at any price.

    And while we are on that SS issue, what is with all the Seniors whining now about not getting that "entitlement" check?
    You voted these GOP tea baggers into office full well knowing they were out to cut SS and Medicare which the GOP considers "entitlements, so, I am having a hard time feeling sorry for you when you get the very result the majority of you overwhelming voted for when you voted for the GOP! And there was that factor of not wanting a black man in "your" White House, and now, amazingly, you want him to pull your bacon out of the fire?

    To all the sane Seniors, my sympathy.

    July 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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