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Senate budget to have tax hikes

– Senate Democrats intend to approve a budget for the first time in almost four years, a prominent lawmaker said Sunday, but he said it will call for higher tax revenues that Republicans are sure to oppose.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also said that an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to approve a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit without demanding spending cuts was a “positive step.”

He added, though, the extension should be longer than the three months they have outlined.

But GOP officials insist that they will not move unless Senate Democrats give them the debate over the federal budget they have been denied for years.

“There is no doubt the Senate hadn’t done its job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was elected to his first term in November. “It’s been nearly four years since it’s passed a budget. And the Senate should pass a budget.”

Senate Republicans will get a budget from the Democrats, Schumer said.

“We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year,” Schumer said, adding the Democrats’ budget would raise taxes while offering overhauls to the tax code likely to find Republican support.

“We’re going to do a budget this year, and it’s going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact,” Schumer added hours before President Obama began his second term, which officially began at noon Sunday.

The White House, too, said it remained committed to what officials called a “balanced” approach to cutting the nation’s $16.4 trillion nation debt. Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopolous whether Obama “will only sign a budget deal if it includes new revenues,” White House senior adviser David Plouffe agreed.

“Yes, it’s got to be balanced,” Plouffe said. “We need spending cuts, entitlement reform and revenue. We have to have that.”

Schumer and Cruz spoke with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Plouffe appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” “ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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