Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says substantial Medicare cuts must be part of a spending and deficit cut package to get his support to raise the debt limit.
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In a Capitol briefing with reporters Friday, McConnell declared affirmatively that unspecified Medicare cuts are on the table in bipartisan debt limit negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden, and he expects they'll be part of the final deal. But in response to a question from TPM, he went further than he has in the past in laying down a marker on that issue. Medicare cuts must be part of that deal to get his support, he says -- even if negotiators manage to find trillions of dollars in savings elsewhere, even if his other priorities are met.
"To get my vote, for me, it's going to take short term [cuts, via spending caps]... Both medium and long-term, entitlements.," McConnell said. "Medicare will be part of the solution."
To clarify, I asked "[I]f [the Biden group] comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but without substantially addressing Medicare, it won't get your vote?"