Onsite Coverage: Warner Says Tax Increase Difficult in Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan
WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Warner, a leader of a group of senators trying to find a solution to the debt ceiling and deficit crisis, said today that it would be almost impossible to get tax increases in a long-term plan to cut the deficit because of the views of House Republicans.
The measures being proposed by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both call for short-term deficit reductions to be achieved only through spending cuts.
However, both plans create a bipartisan committee of senators and representatives from both parties to make recommendations for other ways to cut the deficit.
"My fear is the commission deadlocks," because of the Republicans’ views on taxes, Warner (D-Va.) said at a breakfast sponsored by Politico.
The tax exemption for credit unions is one of the many so-called “tax expenditures,” that several deficit-reduction commissions have said should be eliminated to save money.
Warner, a leader of the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of senators who have called for a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, said he would like there to be a trigger in any legislation that reaches the floor that facilitates a vote on the group’s plan if the joint committee can’t agree on a plan.
Warner said he doesn’t expect that any of the senators in the Gang of Six will be named to the Senate-House committees envisioned by the Reid and Boehner bills.
President Obama has said the debt ceiling must be raised by next Tuesday to give the government money to pay its bills.