WASHINGTON The Obama administration on Thursday called on Congress to engage it on tax reform, saying plans currently considered by lawmakers "share much in common" with the White House's approach to the issue.
"There is no reason why we cannot start with the substantial policy areas that we agree on and come together to find common ground," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told an investment summit.
Lew's comments came a day after U.S. lawmakers launched a new round of budget talks with pledges to work toward easing automatic government spending cuts.
Many analysts doubt that a substantial agreement on tax reform will be reached before mid-term congressional elections in November 2014, although lawmakers crafting reform plans such as Democratic Senator Max Baucus And Republican Representative Dave Camp continue to push for a deal.
Democratic leaders in the budget talks said on Wednesday they wanted part of any budget savings to come from increased revenue raised by ending some tax breaks for corporations and wealthy Americans.
Republican leaders, however, are largely opposed to increasing revenues except by spurring faster economic growth.
Representative Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, said on Wednesday that any savings from eliminating tax deductions and subsidies should be used to lower tax rates.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Vicki Allen and David Brunnstrom)