A bipartisan group of senators introduced their own debt-limit solution. How far can it go?
As Senate leaders crafted a stop-gap plan to lift the debt ceiling and the cut, cap, and balance plan hurtled towards inevitable defeat in the Senate, a bipartisan fiscal framework from an all-but-moribund collaboration of six senators garnered rare praise from President Obama and enthusiasm from Senate Republicans.
But does it matter? Few policymakers expect this framework from the Gang of Six to be the vehicle of a deal to lift the government borrowing ceiling, but some think that individual provisions could augment an agreement, or that the plan could provide a path forward if a short-term increase is enacted.
Obama hailed as "good news" the framework for $3.7 trillion in deficit reduction that includes increased tax revenues. He said the plan devised by a bipartisan group of senators is "in the same playing field" as what he hopes to accomplish in talks with Congress.
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Still, Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) downplayed the proposal because it would take too long to enact before August 2, when Treasury will exhaust its cash reserves. They said they would focus on a plan to provide a $1.5 trillion down payment of cuts and to lift the debt ceiling with a series of symbolic votes that would allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally.