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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 17th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

House Republican: President Obama already got his tax increase

The deal to re-open the government and avoid defaulting on the nation's debt is temporary. Another fiscal fight is on the horizon in just a few months.

"The big issue on the table right now that should be of concern to every American is the $17 trillion debt and $60 trillion of unfunded liabilities. That weight has enormous implications for our future," said Republican Congressman Richard Pittenger, a member of the House financial services committee.

Pittenger said entitlement reform is of the utmost concern. He and a group of bipartisan freshman congressmen wrote a letter to Obama after they were sworn in "imploring the president to address the debt and imploring the president to go after entitlements which are the single biggest factor, Medicare will be insolvent within a decade. Social security needs to be addressed. These are very key components."

The sticking point for Republicans is increasing taxes. But Obama makes two points about why increasing taxes need to be part of any budget negotiation. First, he maintains that the country cannot ask seniors to make sacrifices without asking the wealthiest Americans to do so as well. Secondly, politically, Obama can't ask Democrats in the House and Senate to vote for something that trims these programs without asking Republicans to vote for something they don't want to do, which is raise taxes.

If there was a deal where there included cuts to some entitlement programs, would Pittenger be willing to contemplate the notion of tax increases?

"The president asked for and he received a $600 billion tax increase from the wealthiest of American people," said Pittenger. "That was a major concession and commitment from realizing from many Republicans that it was a hard bite to swallow."

For more of our interview with Congressman Robert Pittenger, watch the video above.

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