Biden Explains Revenue Statement to Negotiators

Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:00pm

Vice President Joseph Biden explained to the bipartisan working group Thursday why he told reporters Tuesday that the group could “pretty quickly” agree to more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts and that revenues have to be included in any deal.

“He said, ‘You know, I did want to let people know that we’re making progress here,’” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said. “And he said, ‘I thought saying we could at least get to $1 trillion, obviously more than that, would be a good way to assure people that we’re making progress.’ OK, fine. And also, he says, ‘We have to talk revenues.’ He says, ‘You all understand why I have to say that.’ I said, ‘Yes, I understand why you have to say that.’”

Kyl and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have rejected Biden’s insistence on revenue increases as part of the deal to raise the debt limit, and that hasn’t changed.

Thursday’s meeting largely dealt with setting up a schedule for the next six weeks, according to Kyl.

“Now I know where I have to be when,” he said, adding that an in-person meeting wasn’t likely next week, but the schedule hasn’t been set completely because House Democrats weren’t present Thursday.

Kyl said the six weeks are not a deadline. “Too many things are up in the air after that,” he said.