Monday was supposed to be the deadline for raising the federal ceiling. However, the U.S. Treasury Department announced two weeks ago they have taken steps to keep the country out of default on its obligations. The actions extend the deadline to August 2, buying more time for Congress to work out a compromise.
Vice President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers Thursday at Washington’s Blair House to begin hammering out a comprehensive plan to address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems. One of the six was South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn. Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday morning, Clyburn says he senses an aura of cooperation among the group.
I feel very good about the atmosphere in the room. If we continue to meet, our staffs are meeting this week, when we get back next week we will get serious (and) look at both sides of the equation to see how best to go forward. I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get something done.
Congressional Republican leaders have said they could support raising the debt ceiling, but it must be accompanied by more cuts in spending. Democrats say people making more than $250,000 annually must bear their share of the tax burden and tax loopholes must be closed to major corporations. Tea Party Republicans are adamant that they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances.
GOP leaders say any budget compromise that would include raising the debt ceiling must not include any new tax increases. Clyburn says he views the debate on tax hikes as a matter of semantics.
You call it tax increases, we call it eliminating subsides, as well as having effective tax collections. If you talk about a 35 percent corporate rate, what difference does it make if it’s 75 percent if you have all of these loopholes? If you’re closing loopholes, I don’t think you’re increasing taxes. The American people want us to close these loopholes, they want everyone to put skin in the game, and I think that is where we’re headed.