In his re-election campaign, Obama called for new revenues of about $1.2 trillion over 10 years, combined with spending cuts to tame the deficit. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, suggested up to $800 billion in new revenues. The two men ultimately failed to reach a deficit-reducing ‘‘grand bargain.’’
Last year’s ‘‘fiscal cliff’’ legislation forced Republicans to swallow $620 billion in new revenues. Some Democrats say Obama should have demanded more.
Now, Republicans say, talk of further tax hikes ‘‘is closed,’’ even though Democrats say they won’t consider entitlement cuts without new revenues.
Harkin said Obama discussed a possible grand bargain with Democratic senators by saying, ‘‘Look, we have staked out a position on this that we believe is sort of in the center, where the American people are. And if the Republicans want to pull more to the right, we’re not going there.’’
On the House side, the new Republican 10-year budget plan ‘‘doesn’t give an inch,’’ said Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the Democrat’s top Budget Committee member. ‘‘It doesn’t give a quarter-inch.’’
But Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who helped describe the new GOP budget to reporters Tuesday, said it will protect national security, care ‘‘for the poor and sick,’’ and boost the economy.
‘‘All of this can be accomplished without raising taxes,’’ Price said.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Charles Babington covers Congress and national politics for The Associated Press. AP writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.
An AP News Analysis