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.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.