From Meredith Shiner at POLITICO: Sen. Dick Durbin claims that including social security reform makes a long-term budget deal improbable. “When pressed on how both parties could come to an agreement, Durbin dug at GOP tax guru Grover Norquist and defended the interests of his party’s leadership. ‘They don’t talk about Harry Reid, they talk about Grover Norquist, who won’t even let them say the word revenue.’…The group of bipartisan lawmakers is said to want to produce a final product in time to link that measure with a looming vote to increase the debt limit, which could come as soon as mid-April or May.”

“Amid acrimony, negotiators carry on” by Kerry Young at “Republicans are sticking by their demands for $61.5 billion in discretionary cuts from current spending, and Democrats continue to balk at that number…. Republicans wasted little time responding, saying Democrats were threatening a shutdown by refusing to allow what the GOP considers reasonable reductions to the nation’s more than $1 trillion in annual discretionary spending… [Van Hollen] suggested that the federal government could return to the tax rates seen under the Clinton administration, bringing in additional revenue to reduce borrowing. But bringing tax changes into the debate probably would be anathema for Republicans and would draw heavy fire from conservative groups such as Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.”

In The Washington Post with Bloomberg Business, Ezra Klein claims that GOP spending cuts have a hidden agenda.   “If anything, I understated the extent of the GOP’s likely budget victory in this morning’s Wonkbook. That’s because I focused on the spending cuts they’re likely to secure, which will exceed the level the House leadership chose as an opening bid in February. But I didn’t say anything about the many “riders” trying to defund Planned Parenthood and NPR and hobble health-care reform and accomplish a hundred other things that have little to do with deficits but lots to do with the wish list that Grover Norquist keeps locked deep inside his volcano lair.”