'Gang of Six' Revives $3.7 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan

A bipartisan group of senators are enthusiastic about the deficit reduction plan

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Movement on the debt ceiling deadline front: A bipartisan group of senators are enthusiastic about a compromise backed by a "Gang of Six" that once again includes Sen. Tom Coburn. After a meeting of roughly 50 senators convened, "a surprise jolt of bipartisan support emerged Tuesday for a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan that had been in development for months, though it was thought to be dead just several weeks ago," reported The Wall Street Journal.

The bill appears alive right now: a few legislators are predicting that it may reach a 60 vote threshold to pass in the Senate. Coburn himself rejoined the gang "after winning concessions on additional cuts to costly federal health care programs," reported the Associated Press. As far as the plan's details, Politico obtained a copy and has the painstaking wonk version. The AP has a more digestible take:

The Gang of Six plan calls for an immediate $500 billion "down payment" on cutting the deficit as the starting point toward cuts of more than $4 trillion over the coming decade that would be finalized in a second piece of legislation.

The key question, as The Journal notes, is "whether the plan might receive any support in the House, where Republicans have strongly resisted any new proposal that could bring in new taxes." The House GOP have their own "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill that has some support in the chamber. But the president has made very clear that he'd veto that bill if it arrived on his desk.

Update: Obama has praised the Senate plan, saying it "is broadly consistent with the approach that I have urged."

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