President Barack Obama's top ally on Capitol Hill says he won't support any attempt this year to ease across-the-board spending cuts hitting the Pentagon and domestic agencies if it fails to include new revenues.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the declaration on the eve of the first official meeting of a House-Senate negotiating panel on the budget. Most Republicans say they won't consider revenues to help ease the automatic cuts known as sequestration.
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The Nevada Democrat was a key force behind the hard line approach Obama and Democrats took in the recent battle over the debt limit and government shutdown that resulted in a big victory for the party.
Participants and most observers believe that the parameters of the budget talks are likely to focus on alleviating sequestration.