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Senator Schumer 'very heartened' by Boehner's 'fiscal cliff' speech

Sen. Charles Schumer, a key Democratic strategist, saw positive signs in House Speaker John Boehner's comments that he would consider closing tax loopholes to raise new revenue.

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Sen. Charles Schumer, vice chair of the Democratic Conference and chair of the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center, speaks at the Monitor Breakfast Thursday.

Michael Bonfigli/Christian Science Monitor

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New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a key political strategist for his party, says he was “very heartened” by the tone of House Speaker John Boehner’s remarks Wednesday indicating he could accept a budget deal that included new federal revenue if it were linked to tax reform.

“I was heartened, very heartened, by the tone that Speaker Boehner showed yesterday in his remarks,” Senator Schumer said Thursday at a breakfast for reporters hosted by the Monitor. “He basically said that the president won the election and he should lead. He basically said he was open to revenues, which many in his own party disagree with.”

Boehner’s remarks focused on ways to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff.” It is a $700 billion combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts slated to take effect at the start of 2013.

While saying Boehner’s remarks make "me very hopeful that we can do something big in the next month and a half,” to deal with the fiscal cliff, Schumer was also quick to highlight areas of disagreement with the speaker’s comments.

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