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Coburn: Lack of public details on deficit talks a good sign

Coburn saw it as an indication that negotiators were working out differences behind closed doors rather than litigating disagreements in the press.

"I think the fact that you're not hearing any details is good," Coburn said during an appearance on Fox News. "You don't hear people trying to manipulate the negotiations that are ongoing through the press or the media. So look, we're going to solve this problem one way or the other."

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Coburn also said he did not put much stock in public statements by key negotiators, including President Obama, arguing that even potential sticking points like entitlement reform will be on the table and likely part of a deficit deal.

"It's obvious that he's going to have to stand behind some significant changes in entitlement and I think what [GOP negotiators are] asking him is, 'Where is your plan?' " Coburn said. "And I'm OK if he doesn't have to say that publicly right now, as long as he's saying that privately in negotiations, and we'll see what comes out of that."

The Oklahoma Republican added that "most conservatives have said we understand more revenue is needed," but that the hope was that a recovering economy would fuel that additional government income.

"The key is there has to be a combination package of both revenue increases and a revenue program that actually promotes real growth — in other words, tax reform that actually promotes growth, combined with significant structural changes in the long-term expenditures for a major entitlement," Coburn said.

Coburn also warned it would be "putting your head in the sand" not to touch entitlement programs, if for no other reason than the looming insolvency of some important programs.

"For everybody that's on disability, the one in 17 people in this country, one out of every 17 now is collecting a disability check, there ain't going to be money in less than two years. Same thing in terms of Medicare Part A," Coburn said.