The bipartisan team of negotiators working with Vice President Joseph Biden to cut federal spending wants to develop a package to cut four-trillion dollars over a decade. The Vice President says it has to be real with a down payment and a believable path to getting to that four-trillion dollar figure. The Vice President says, so far, some of the tentative horse-trading involved focuses on cutting smaller deals that are contingent on reaching a larger deal on tougher items like revenue. Negotiators will meet four times this week.
Meanwhile, Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen of Maryland says the talks still have a long way to go and it’s not yet clear whether they can bridge the gap that exists between the two sides. Democrats continue to say that a larger deal must include revenue and Van Hollen says he was encouraged that Senate Republicans seem willing to do away with some tax subsidies like the one for ethanol.
Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow is keeping close tabs on negotiations. She is concerned with how agriculture is being treated in the talks and, according to Agri-Pulse, recently expressed that concern to Vice President Biden. She also said the Senate will not support the House-passed budget cuts for agriculture and nutrition.