Congressional Democrats want Republicans to sign off on $50 billion worth of tax increases to eliminate the sequester’s automatic spending cuts. The next phase of these cuts will take effect Jan. 15, when government funding will drop from $986 billion to $967 billion.
“There’s a lot of pressure on both sides, especially Republicans, after what they did to the country by following the Tea Party agenda, to show they are willing to come to the table and compromise,” said a Democratic aide.
Democrats say they would not accept any budget deal unless it includes tens of billions in new tax revenue. Their opening bid is $1 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts to offset the cost of ending sequestration for domestic and defense discretionary spending programs.
They add that Republicans will have added incentive to agree to tax increases because a disproportionate share of the sequester for 2014 will hit defense programs.