House leaders dig in on debt debate

July 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- House leaders stuck to starkly opposed positions on the budget Sunday as talks on lifting the U.S. debt ceiling faltered.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., ruled out any tax hikes on the top brackets, saying they would cripple small business.

"Small business creates the jobs," he said. "... You would not increase taxes on the small business, which is what the president wants to do. … Those are from S-corps and others files individually. They put their money back in, you're taxing them."

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., countered that "just isn't true. The joint tax committee has said about 3 percent of businesses fall in the top category that we're talking about, and those businesses include things -- companies like KKR, Pricewaterhouse, Fortune 100 companies, anyone that files as an S Corporation, so those are good businesses, but these are not mom and pops."

McCarthy said talks between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican leaders had identified $2.4 trillion in spending cuts.

Van Hollen responded, "Our Republican colleagues are dreaming if they think we had $2.4 trillion in cuts."

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