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Battle looms over raising debt ceiling

June 26, 2011 at 12:52 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- U.S. House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn says he fails to see how Republicans equate closing tax loopholes with tax increases.

Clyburn, speaking on the ABC News program "This Week" Sunday, said Democrats and Republicans agree the country needs more revenue, but differ on how to get it.

Clyburn, D-S.C., said closing tax loopholes on oil companies that make billions in profits is one way Democrats would increase revenue.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that is the wrong approach and Republicans want to see the United States cut back on spending.

"How do you call closing loopholes to oil companies that would generate $40 to $50 billion in revenue, how do you call that a tax hike? That is no tax hike," Clyburn said

"You only hike taxes when you raise rates. We want us to have an effective tax collection and close these loopholes, stop giving billions of dollars in breaks to millionaires and billionaires," Clyburn said.

Obama and McConnell are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss raising the debt ceiling. Republicans walked out of the talks last week.

The government will run out of money to pay its bills for the first time ever on Aug. 2 unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling.

"Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass," McConnell said. "I mean, putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either."

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