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Biden says increased revenue must be part of deficit reduction plan

By Ted Barrett, CNN
  • Vice President Biden meets for almost three hours with congressional negotiators
  • The talks are seeking a deficit reduction deal linked to raising the federal debt limit
  • The government says the debt limit must increased by early August

Washington (CNN) -- Vice President Joe Biden told bipartisan congressional negotiators Tuesday that additional tax revenues must be part of any deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

"I made it clear today that revenues will have to be in the deal," Biden said after a nearly three-hour meeting in the Capitol.

Biden didn't say if he was talking about tax increases or reforms to the tax code that would lower rates while increasing revenue to the government. Most Republicans oppose either approach as part of a deal to increase the debt limit before the August deadline when the government would default on its loans.

On spending cuts, Biden said the group is "going to have to make some really tough decisions on some of the big-ticket items."

"But I think we're in a position where we will be able to get well above a trillion dollars pretty quick in terms of what would be a down payment on the process," said Biden, who indicated the administration's goal is to come up with $4 trillion is savings.

Peterson: Sacrifice going to be required

Top Senate Republican aides declined to comment on Biden's statement about tax revenues, but noted that Democrats have advocated that position for some time while Republicans have opposed it.

When Biden was asked if the Republicans in the talks accept that increased revenues must be part of the deal, he laughed and said, "The Republicans love this. They really love this."