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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.