“The entitlement spending cuts are the only cuts that traditionally stay cut,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said. “The discretionary cuts you revisit and by all past experience go right back up. And the entitlement programs are where the money is.”
Democrats and Republicans look to be separated by about $800 billion in their targets. That is where Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Obama left things when they almost reached an agreement in 2011. But those meetings took place at a “different point in time, completely different circumstances,” Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said. “We’ve now had an election. Elections matter.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.