Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday that Republicans would be "glad" to look at increasing tax-generated revenues as part of a grand bargain for deficit reduction, but only if Democrats could agree to long-term reforms geared at sustaining the nation's entitlement programs.
Corker appeared alongside Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."
The senator and former Chattanooga mayor said he thought there was a "chance on a deal" emerging from the next round of budget arguments and suggested Republicans would support an agreement with added revenues if they came from closing of tax loopholes.
"I think Republicans—if they saw true entitlement reform—would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues," Corker said during the appearance. "That doesn't mean increasing rates; that means closing loopholes. It also means arranging our tax system so we have economic growth. And I think we've been saying that from day one."
Corker added that Republicans would like to see a "75-year solution" on entitlement programs, such as Medicare.
Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, described Corker's comments as "honest and constructive."
Sunday wasn't the first time Corker suggested closing loopholes to increase revenues could be part of a solution to fiscal battles. And the senator has long called for changes to the structure of entitlement programs.
Last November, the senator revealed a plan to cut $4.5 trillion over the next decade, which included a proposal to limit itemized tax deductions to $50,000. Corker predicted the move would generate $749 billion in additional revenues over the next 10 years without raising tax rates.
Corker's suggestion contrasted starkly from U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who said Sunday that revenue increases would not be part of a grand bargain.
To view a clip of Corker's remarks, click here.
To read a transcript of the interview, click here.