By Erik Wasson - 04/23/11 10:20 PM EDT
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Senate Minority Whip Kyl is second-in-command in the Republican conference and a staunch opponent of any tax increases. Kyl was a key negotiator with Biden in the December deal which kept the Bush-era tax rates in place.
According to wire reports, Kyl in Latvia this week said he wants to see “strict” spending caps in exchange for raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
This could represent a significant shift for Kyl away from other demands.
Kyl has a key proponent of passing a balanced budget amendment, something which all 41 GOP senators have now signed onto. Kyl’s own version of a BBA would cap spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product.
Republicans ahead of the May 5 meeting are trying to settle on their demands in exchange for a debt ceiling increase. Some in the party, such as strategist Karl Rove are arguing that at balanced budget amendment is too tall an order, and would face an uncertain and lengthy path for ratification by the states.
He has said he is in favor of comprehensive tax reform, so long as it reduces rates and no further revenue is added to the Treasury.
He also has argued, in July 2010, that “you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans" in contrast to spending which must be fully paid for.
Kyl is seen as being staunchly against looking more deeply into the defense budget to balance the budget.
Kyl came out strongly in favor of passing the House 2012 budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.).
“Congressman Ryan’s budget reflects the kind of difficult, and politically-unpopular, choices that lawmakers will need to make in order to do something about our unsustainable spending and debt,” he said in an April 11 statement. “I think Congressman Ryan’s budget proposal is an effective blueprint for economic growth."