Tax hikes bedevil US debt talks
Republicans and Democrats, who have been at loggerheads for weeks over raising the US debt ceiling, are now stalling over proposals to raise taxes ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama.
"Throwing more tax revenue into the mix is simply not going to produce a desirable result, and it won't pass," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has accused the president of a dereliction of leadership on the issue.
"Putting aside the fact that Republicans don't like to raise taxes, Democrats don't like to either," he told ABC television's "This Week" on Sunday.
With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warning lawmakers they have until August 2 to raise the debt limit or risk having the United States default on its loans, Obama is due to wade into the angry impasse Monday for separate meetings with McConnell and his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid.
The White House meetings come after a Republican walkout from crucial talks on the issue and warnings by top party leaders that they will not accept the Obama administration's demands to close tax loopholes and hike rates on the wealthiest Americans.
Congressman James Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said McConnell and other Republicans were setting the budget debate on the wrong path.
"We do not want to raise anybody's tax rates. That's never been on the table," he told "This Week."
"And I wish they (Republicans) would get beyond their talking points and really get honest with the American people as to what these discussions are about."