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US Senator: Democrats in chamber will pass budget

 FILE - This Nov. 16, 2012 file photo shows President Barack Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaking to reporters in the Ro...
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 FILE - This Jan. 1, 2013 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walkig past reporters after a closed-door meeting meeting of House Repub...

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Senate Democrats intend to approve a budget for the first time in almost four years, a prominent lawmaker said Sunday, but he said it will call for higher tax revenues that Republicans are sure to oppose.
Sen. Chuck Schumer also said an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to approve a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing limit without demanding spending cuts in return was a "positive step." He added, though, that the extension should be longer than the three months they have outlined.
"We don't want to play `fiscal cliff' every three months," Schumer said, referring to the recent last-minute action by Congress to avoid abrupt deep spending cuts and tax increases that could have brought on another recession.
Fiscal issues are among the first that President Barack Obama will face in his second term, which officially began at noon Sunday.
Republicans in recent days have backed away from their insistence that they would not increase the nation's borrowing limit _ known as the debt ceiling _ without deep spending concessions. If the new proposal holds, the shift would clear the way for Congress to avoid a potential government default this spring.
But Republican officials insist that they will not move unless Senate Democrats give them the debate over the federal budget they have been denied for years.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and a favorite of the small-government tea party movement, said he supports the strategy from his party's leaders in the House of Representatives.
"There is no doubt the Senate hadn't done its job," said Cruz, who was elected to his first term in November. "It's been nearly four years since it's passed a budget. And the Senate should pass a budget."
The Senate Republicans will get a budget from the Democrats, Schumer said.
"We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year," Schumer said, adding the Democrats' budget would raise taxes while offering overhauls to the tax code likely to find Republican support.
The White House said it remained committed to what officials called a "balanced" approach to cutting the nation's $16.4 trillion nation debt. Asked by ABC's George Stephanopolous whether Obama "will only sign a budget deal if it includes new revenues," White House senior adviser David Plouffe agreed.
"Yes, it's got to be balanced," said Plouffe. "We need spending cuts, entitlement reform and revenue. We have to have that."
Plouffe said the new Republican strategy reflects a weak opposition after November's election.
Republicans also added a caveat designed to prod Senate Democrats to pass a budget: no pay for lawmakers if there again is no budget passed this year. House Republicans have passed budgets for two consecutive years; the Democratic-controlled Senate last passed a complete budget in 2009.
Schumer and Cruz spoke with NBC. Plouffe appeared on CNN, ABC and CBS.
No House Republicans appeared on the networks' Sunday morning talk shows to represent their proposal.


Updated : 2021-08-02 15:25 GMT+08:00