Erika Johnsen
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President Obama and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at the White House tomorrow to, once again, negotiate the package that should accompany a debt ceiling-hike. (Goodness knows, Obama didn't have the time today, as he had to campaign - er, I mean - host his 'historic' Twitter town hall, during which he implicitly included himself among "young people" and helped to fuel their hatred of The Man.) I'm not feeling overly-optimistic that we'll reach a deal by day 800 of Democrats not passing a budget (that's this Friday, by the way), but hopefully, extraneous issues will start falling by the wayside as we head into the eleventh hour. Hopefully.

House Majority Leader Cantor had this to say about the anticipated negotiations:

"If the president wants to talk loopholes, we'll be glad to talk loopholes," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Cantor added that any revenues raised from closing such loopholes "should be coupled with offsetting tax cuts somewhere else."

Cantor's comments reflected important, if nuanced, flexibility for Republicans. His earlier position was that closing loopholes should wait for a comprehensive effort to reform the tax code.

Cantor declined to specify what tax cuts should be financed by any new loophole-related revenues, but he declined to rule out using them to pay for renewing expiring tax cuts like a popular credit for new research and development that's popular with businesses.

Also, the Republicans are looking to target the Environmental Protection Agency as a part of their proposed budget-slashing. (I get the feeling that HuffPo thinks this is a cause for some concern, which it is - if you don't like jobs or a propserous economy.) From The Hill:

A fiscal 2012 spending bill unveiled Wednesday by House Republican appropriators includes a policy rider that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries for one year.

It is the latest effort by the House GOP to delay the agency’s climate regulations, which Republicans and some Democrats argue will impose huge costs on the economy.

“The bill reins in out-of-control regulation and provides the certainty that our economy needs to make a strong recovery,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Interior, Environment and Related Agencies panel.

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Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.