On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) rejected a proposal for $2 trillion in budget cuts, saying cuts alone are an unacceptable way to balance the budget.
“You can’t do $2 trillion just in cuts,” Reid said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “There has to be a mix of spending cuts, including defense. There has to be a more fair apportionment of tax policy in this country.”
Reid’s statements reflect a fundamental conflict in Congress. As budget talks drag on, GOP lawmakers refuse to raise the debt limit until an agreement to cut trillions of dollars from the budget can be reached. However, Republicans claim they will not even discuss raising taxes, saying hikes would not be “on the table.”
“The Senate is preparing to vote on the House-passed GOP budget drafted by Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin that cuts nearly $6 trillion in spending over the next decade, partly by privatizing Medicare,” the Times also reported. “The deeply unpopular Medicare provision is expected to doom the bill in the Senate. But Democrats are content to keep the GOP Medicare proposal in focus as a weapon against Republicans.”