WASHINGTON — The top Republican in the Senate says it'll take cuts both to agencies' budgets and to long-term spending on programs like Medicare and Medicaid to win his vote to permit the government to keep going into debt to meet its obligations.

Sen. Mitch McConnell issued his demands after a Thursday morning meeting with President Barack Obama.

McConnell said the need to raise the so-called debt ceiling is a "major opportunity" for Republicans and Democrats to come together and do something about the spiraling national debt.

The Kentucky Republican is likely to be a key figure in the negotiations. He flatly says tax increases won't be part of any deficit solutions this year.