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Democrats Push Hard on Fiscal Deal

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Durbin spoke about the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on Tuesday but said those discussions should not be part of the fiscal cliff plan.

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“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.”

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