Obama Backs Bipartisan Debt Plan in Principle

By Chris Good

President Obama all but endorsed the new debt-limit plan offered by a bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six." At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Obama said the White House had just received details of the plan, which was presented earlier in the day on Capitol Hill.

"I want to congratulate the 'Gang of Six' for coming up with a plan that I think is balanced. We just received it, so we haven't reviewed all the details of it. It would not match perfectly with some of the approaches that we have taken, but I think that we're in the same playing field, and my hope is that we can get together over the next few days to choose a clear direction and get this resolved," said Obama, who has repeatedly called for a "balanced" plan in public statements this month.

Obama said he would not sign a House proposal known as "Cut, Cap and Balance," which would impose spending restrictions and require a 2/3 congressional majority for the passage of tax increases.

The plan includes $3.7 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. It would raise tx revenues by $1 trillion.

Obama has previously supported a deal in that range, while Republicans have resisted the idea of raising tax revenues. It is unclear, if not highly improbably, that such a plan would pass through the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, where Republican leaders backed away from a broadly similar plan in negotiations hosted by the White House. Speaker John Boehner has instead favored a smaller deal that does not involve added revenue.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/obama-backs-bipartisan-debt-plan-in-principle/242194/