Bloomberg News

Clyburn Says ’Big’ Debt Deal Elusive While Limited Pact Possible

November 18, 2011

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Representative James Clyburn, a member of the congressional supercommittee struggling to find a deficit-cutting agreement, said a large deal approaching $4 trillion isn’t likely while still seeing a chance of a smaller package as long as Republicans agree to revenue increases.

“I’ve kind of given up on big and bold, but I’m never going to give up on balance,” Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.

Clyburn said if Republicans are firm on including a continuation of Bush-era tax cuts set to expire next year in any package, there isn’t likely to be an agreement.

“If that’s going to be the insistence, then we probably won’t get a deal,” he said.

Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, said he hopes President Barack Obama won’t relent as he did last year and allow those tax cuts to continue again.

“I have no idea whether he will or not,” Clyburn said. “I hold out hope that the president will hold fast.”

Lawmakers on the 12-member panel vow to negotiate though the weekend as they try to break an impasse before a Nov. 23 deadline to produce a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion over a decade. Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked over the amount of revenue increases and changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare.

Republicans on the committee have offered to increase tax revenue by $300 billion, and Democrats are pushing for a larger increase. Republicans are pressing Democrats to tackle long-term growth in spending on Medicare and other federal entitlement programs.

Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a separate interview on “Political Capital” today that any agreement with new tax revenue won’t win the support of a majority of House Republicans.

--Editors: Mark Silva, Mark McQuillan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Catherine Dodge in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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