–Now Agreement On ‘Well Beyond’ $1 Trillion in Savings
–‘Goal’ of Talks Is To Secure Final Deal By End of June
–Want To Present Budget Deal To Obama, Hill Leader Before July 4

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday evening
that he is now “convinced” the White House and Congress will be able to
reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan that secures $4 trillion
in savings over 10 to 12 years.

Speaking to a small group of reporters as he was leaving the
Capitol after nearly three hours of budget talks, Biden said there is
already an agreement in the talks of “well beyond” $1 trillion in

Biden said the talks are progressing well and all the participants
are working for an agreement.

“Everyone is still there,” he said.

Biden said his group is trying to wrap up a budget agreement by the
end of June in the hope of presenting a sweeping package to President
Obama and congressional leaders before the 4th of July congressional

Biden will resume his budget talks with lawmakers Wednesday and
Thursday this week.

The Biden talks are seeking a deficit reduction package that can
be developed to coincide with this summer’s vote on debt ceiling

The U.S. has already reached its $14.29 trillion debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that Congress must pass
legislation increasing the debt ceiling by August 2.

Biden is negotiating with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman
Dan Inouye, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Assistant
House Minority Leader Jim Clyburn and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top
Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

The administration is represented by Biden, Geithner, White House
budget director Jack Lew and the director of the National Economic
Council Gene Sperling.

Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told
reporters Tuesday after leaving the meeting with Biden that he is
“quite confident” the administration and congressional leaders will
reach an agreement on a “significant” deficit reduction plan.

“We’ll get there,” he said.

Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said
the talks are going well.

“We’re making progress every day,” he said, adding the parties
now agree on at least $1 trillion in budget savings.

Van Hollen said the final package should include additional
revenues. “We have to have revenues,” he said.

Kyl, the Senate GOP Whip, said the talks should yield one
comprehensive agreement rather than a series of piecemeal accords.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **

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