“I want to make clear that any agreement we have to deal with these automatic spending cuts that are being threatened for next month, those also have to be balanced — because remember, my principle has always been let’s do things in a balanced, responsible way. And that means that revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester, in eliminating these automatic spending cuts, as well as spending cuts,” Obama said.
But for all the promises of taking a hard line, Republicans in the House are just as adamant they will not budge on their demands over the debt ceiling.
Republicans said the terms of the tax deal they passed Tuesday, which they hate and mostly voted against, mean it is more important to hold strong on the debt ceiling increase.
“That’s Custer’s last stand, right there. But, we will have taken taxes off the table,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La.
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.