Vice President Joe Biden emerged Tuesday from bipartisan, bicameral talks to reduce the nation's skyrocketing debt and deficit saying the effort is bearing fruit, and key a Republican agreed.
"I think we're in a position where we'll be able to get to well above $1 trillion pretty quick - what would be a downpayment on the process," Biden told reporters after the meeting, which included Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, OMB Director Jack Lew, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.
The former Delaware senator traveled to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a two-hour, closed-door session with lawmakers trying to find a compromise on debt reduction ahead of a vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling, and the VP made it clear Democrats are not backing away from the line Republicans have drawn in the sand on tax increases.
"I made it clear today that revenues are going to have to be in the deal," Biden said. But when asked if the Republicans in the room, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, accepted the vice presidential ultimatum, Biden merely quipped, "Oh, they loved that. They just loved that."
Cantor, for his part, was on board with the amount of cuts being discussed, but on taxes, there was disagreement.
"This House will not support tax hikes," Cantor told Fox's House producer, Chad Pergram.
One item Biden revealed was up for discussion, some kind of trigger mechanism related to the deficit, a proposal President Obama has pushed as a means to implement reductions if the deficit hits a certain percentage of GDP.
"We're going to be discussing trigger mechanisms and how you would do that to get to $4 trillion," Biden said, adding, "Everybody knows we're going to have to make some really tough decisions on some of the really big ticket items."
The group, which also includes Reps. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, and Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Daniel Inouye, D-Ha., is scheduled to meet again on Thursday.