Some Lawmakers Signal Openness To Grand Deal On Deficit

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., suggested during the Sunday talk shows that a deal that includes tax revenue and changes to entitlement programs including Medicare is possible while Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., conveyed openness to Medicare changes. Durbin's comments included shots at the House budget plan advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The New York Times: Republicans Act With Air, If Not A Vote, Of Confidence
In Congress, Republicans are pushing an agenda that is almost identical to the one that their party lost with in November, with no regrets and few efforts to reframe it even rhetorically. The House will vote this week on the third iteration of Mr. Ryan's budget, which would again try to turn Medicare into a subsidy for private insurance purchases, slash the top income tax rate and cut deeply into programs the president campaigned to protect (Weisman, 3/17).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Corker: Deal Possible On Taxes, Entitlements
A Republican senator said Sunday that his party would be open to raising tax revenue as part of a broader deal that makes changes to Social Security and Medicare, a sign that President Barack Obama and at least some GOP lawmakers have a pathway to starting talks on a sweeping deficit-reduction package (Nicholas, 3/17).

Politico: Durbin Hits Ryan Budget, Eyes Medicare Reform
While suggesting Democrats were open to reforming Medicare and other entitlements, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin also took some shots Sunday at Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, saying it would eliminate Medicare. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Durbin said that once the Senate passes the budget resolution fashioned by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), "we're going to move to the next stage, and that is the grand bargain stage" (Kopan, 3/17).

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