'Gang of Six' revives hope for big deal in stalled debt-ceiling talks
President Obama's hopes for a 'grand bargain' both to raise the debt ceiling and rein in the deficit got a boost Tuesday when the Senate's 'Gang of Six' proposed $3.7 trillion in deficit reductions.
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The Gang of Six effort eclipsed a planned vote this evening in the Republican-controlled House on a plan called “cut, cap, and balance.” The plan would cut and cap federal spending, and require congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a prerequisite to a higher debt ceiling. Obama has said he would veto such a measure, though the Senate isn’t expected to pass it, and thus chances were slim it would reach the Oval Office.Skip to next paragraph
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Obama said the new Gang of Six plan “would not match perfectly with some of the approaches we’ve taken, but I think that we’re in the same playing field.”
He expressed hope for renewed negotiation over the next couple of days to resolve the matter. The White House has indicated that agreement is needed by Friday to give Congress enough time to pass legislation.
“In the event that we don’t get an agreement, at minimum, we’ve got to raise the debt ceiling,” he said.
The McConnell-Reid plan would defer authority to raise the debt ceiling to the president in three increments. Discussions are still being held over what level of spending cuts to attach to those increases in borrowing authority.
In the regular briefing that followed Obama’s appearance, White House spokesman Jay Carney said bipartisan compromise is the name of the game – and that the public wants it.
“That's the approach the president's taken,” Mr. Carney said, “not because he wants to win political points but because he wants to get a deal that the American people can support.”
At a Monitor breakfast earlier on Tuesday, the editor in chief of Gallup, Frank Newport, noted that a majority of Americans want Washington leaders to compromise as they work out a deal on the debt limit.