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Biden predicts deficit deal by July 4

From NBC's Libby Leist
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday he hopes to have an agreement on a deficit reduction plan by the end of the month before the July 4th Congressional recess.

A deal would be only a first step as the group would then have to turn the plan into legislation and vote on it before the U.S hits the debt ceiling on Aug 2.

Biden's proposed deadline would give lawmakers a month to debate and implement the plan.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Biden said the bipartisan deficit reduction group is now tackling "the really hard stuff" and "making real progress." He predicted well over a trillion dollars in spending cuts and said he expects a "serious downpayment" on the goal of cutting 4 trillion over 10-12 years.

"I think we're going to be in a position hopefully that by the end of the month, by the Fourth of July recess, we have something to take to the leaders," Biden said.

The lawmakers in the talks include Sen. Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Inouye (D-HI), Sen. Baucus (D-MT), Rep. Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD), and Rep. Clyburn (D-SC). The White House team is led by Vice President Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, plus OMB director Jack Lew and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.

Rep. Van Hollen told reporters after the meeting the group talked primarily about discretionary spending today. He did not offer any more specifics.