Biden: Tough tradeoffs ahead in budget talks

June 17, 2011

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Bloomberg News

Vice President Joe Biden says that negotiators meeting on a plan to cut the federal deficit have completed a “scrub” of the government’s budget and will start next week to try to forge the difficult trade-offs needed to reach a deal.

Their goal is to cut trillions of dollars from the deficit over the coming decade.

Biden said Thursday that after eight meetings both sides have signaled what they might be willing to accept as part of a larger agreement but that they haven’t tackled really tough questions on health care or new revenues.

Biden said that Democrats are willing to go along with changes to federal health care programs and domestic agency budgets if Republicans are willing to accept new revenues and curbs on the Pentagon budget.

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