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Congress: Divided over debt

“Senate Democrats won’t be putting much on the table when the first bipartisan debt panel meeting with Vice President Joseph Biden takes place today at Blair House,” Roll Call says. That’s partly by design, partly by necessity. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appears to be eyeing the less-is-more strategy that he employed during the partisan brawl over spending that almost ended in a government shutdown this year. Just as he did then, the Nevada Democrat is keeping his own cards close to his vest, urging his Caucus to keep its options open and waiting to see what the White House puts on the table.”

The Washington Post adds, “Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.”

The Hill: “Tax policy is again dividing Democrats and Republicans as they begin negotiations Thursday on what budget process reforms to attach to legislation raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.”

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will unveil an energy legislation package Thursday morning, one day after House Republicans launched their own task force to stay ahead of the issue,” Roll Call reports.