House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says tax hikes are needed to bring down the deficit.
Hoyer said the only solution to cutting down the government's $12 trillion dept is a balanced approach -- one that raises taxes and cuts spending.
"A balanced approach would spread the effects of change across American society," Hoyer said.
This would go against President Barack Obama's campaign promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000.
"I think that the public's rising awareness at the crisis of debt that confronts us will be somewhat, not entirely, somewhat an enabler of making tough decisions," Hoyer told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The U.S. deficit is at its highest since World War II due to a deep recession, two wars, and tax cuts.
Republicans said tax increases should be off the table. In fact, they suggest a balance of cutting taxes and government spending to cut the debt.