Could Senate's "Gang of Six" solve the debt crisis?
Wed, 20 Jul 2011 09:23:09 GMT —
It might sound like an old Western movie, but the Senate's "Gang of Six" has emerged with a mission: avoid default and solve the debt ceiling crisis.
Drafted by three Democratic and three Republican senators and praised by President Obama as the most "balanced" approach to a Republican plan, the Gang of Six's deficit reduction plan would immediately cut $500 billion in spending with the goal of reducing overall spending by $4 trillion over the next decade. The plan would also raise $1 trillion in tax revenues and change entitlement programs.
While the U.S. House passed the tea party conservative-backed "cut, cap and balance" deficit reduction plan backed on Tuesday night, Obama and democrats criticized the notion, which would allow an increase in the debt ceiling after Congress passes a budget amendment to the Constitution and places cuts and caps on future spending as a percentage of the country's gross domestic product.
Experts expect the GOP plan will not clear the Democratic-controlled Senate or a presidential veto.
"Let me be clear. This is the compromise. This is the best plan out there," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, head of a conservative House caucus known as the Republican Study Committee.
But The Associated Press reports the Gang of Six's plan is far too complicated and contentious to advance before an Aug. 2 deadline to avoid a default that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other experts warn would rattle markets, drive up interest rates and threaten to take the country back into a recession.
Now that the House has blown off steam, Obama said Tuesday that he wants to "start talking turkey" with top congressional leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
A White House meeting has yet to be scheduled, though Obama seemed to hint one could take place Wednesday.
Do you support the GOP's "cut, cap and balance" plan or does the "Gang of Six" stand a better chance at appeasing all parties by the Aug. 2 default deadline? What would you cut first if you were in charge? Leave your comment below with us or on Facebook.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)