• March 17, 2013, 1:47 PM

Corker: Deal Possible on Taxes, Entitlements

Washington Wire

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.
Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said in an interview that for members of his party to accept a “grand bargain” on fiscal issues, Mr. Obama must embrace fundamental changes to Social Security and Medicare that would make the entitlement programs viable over the long term.
“We’d like to see these programs available for future generations,” Mr. Corker said. “And, so, if the president is willing to sit down and look at structural reforms that will generate a 75-year soundness for these programs, I think that through tax reform, most Republicans would be willing to look at revenue.”
Many Republicans oppose raising new tax revenue as part of a so-called grand bargain deal to cut deficits, saying that lawmakers should cut deficits by reducing spending. That leaves Mr. Obama and much of the GOP at an impasse, given that Mr. Obama says that any deficit-reduction deal must include new tax revenue, not just spending cuts.