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Entries in Ceiling (12)

Tuesday
May172011

Reid 'Confident' Debt Deal Will Include Repeal of Big Oil Tax Breaks

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- With the Democrats’ bill to scrap tax breaks for the five Big Oil companies set to go down to defeat Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he believes that any agreement to raise the country’s debt ceiling will include a repeal of the tax breaks.

“I am confident that before we finish our budget negotiations here in anticipation of raising the debt ceiling that that will be part of it,” Reid told reporters after the weekly party luncheons Tuesday.

“There’s no justification for continuing that and I am confident that the final budget negotiations, that will be in there,” he stated.

Reid also shrugged off the fact that the Democrats’ Big Oil bill was technically unconstitutional because – since it is a measure that would raise revenues – it needed to originate in the House, not the Senate.

“That’s the least of my worries,” Reid quipped.

In the build-up to Tuesday’s procedural vote, Republicans have voiced widespread opposition to the measure, while some Democrats have outlined why they too have broken with their party to oppose it.

“This is entertainment and it’s really not funny and it’s not laughable – it’s very serious,” warned Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu on the Senate floor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May062011

Can Lawmakers Crack a Deal Before Debt Ceiling Deadline?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- With the debt ceiling deadline looming over Congress, Democrats and Republicans appear to be inching closer together to a plan that would keep the country from spiraling into default.

Both sides are expressing optimism that they can come together on a budget compromise that would reduce the country's deficit -- expected to reach $1.6 trillion this year -- and help earn the support of conservative lawmakers who say the debt ceiling should not be raised without spending cuts.

Lawmakers say they are looking for common ground in the 2012 budget proposals submitted by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

But the two sides remain divided on key issues such as how to tackle entitlement reforms. And with the budget issue taking center stage in the coming weeks, the heated rhetoric is likely to get more so.

Republicans are firmly against raising taxes, and are standing behind the plan by Rep. Ryan that would significantly alter the face of Medicare.

"I have not taken Medicare off the table," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Thursday. "The reality is this president has excoriated our budget plan and the Medicare proposal in the plan, and I certainly would like to see what their proposals are."

Vice President Joe Biden met with Democratic and Republican leaders Thursday at Blair House to discuss these issues. But many observers say it will be the freshman and Tea Party wing of the party that might be hardest to appease.

Several influential Republican lawmakers, such as Michele Bachmann, head of the House Tea Party Caucus, are against raising the debt ceiling until there is a long-term plan in place to reduce the budget deficit. The Republican leadership will have to win their support if it wants to raise the debt ceiling, action that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has warned must be taken quickly.

The United States is expected to hit its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling in mid-May. Geithner said this week that emergency measures by the Treasury could avert a default crisis until Aug. 2, but urged Congress to take swift action.

The Republican leadership is calling on the White House to submit a deficit-reduction plan and details on the amount needed to raise the debt ceiling.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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