Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Obama likes Gang of Six Proposal; House GOP Moves on Draconian Plan

Updated 9 p.m.

The House passed the Tea Party-backed "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan 234-190 this evening as expected, but the measure will now die a certain death in the Senate, with President Obama's promised veto a final backstop to kill the measure.

"I think everyone's estimation is, is that that is not an approach that could pass both chambers, it's not an approach that I would sign and it's not balanced, but I understand the need for them to test that proposition," Obama said ahead of the vote.

Meanwhile, the latest polls show the GOP hardline approach is turning off a lot of Americans and is bolstering Obama's approach. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows more Americans would blame the GOP if the U.S. does not raise the debt ceiling and defaults on its bills.

The same poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans want the Democrats and Republicans to compromise -- something the House GOP, led by House Republican leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, has refused to do.

end update

The House GOP is set to approve today its dead-on-arrival "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan to raise the debt ceiling, but the more mainstream Republicans in the newly reformed bipartisan Senate Gang of Six are proposing a popular $4 trillion in cuts over the next decade.

President Obama called the Gang of Six plan "a very significant step" because it appears to take a balanced approach to making significant cuts while increasing the revenue stream by eliminating some corporate tax loopholes, as well.

"We now have a bipartisan group of senators who agree with that balanced approach," Obama said at an afternoon appearance today in the White House briefing room.

"We are now in the same playing field," Obama added, noting there is still a long way to go before a final agreement is reached.

The Gang of Six, which is calling in its plan for $500 billion in immediate cuts as a down payment, re-convened after Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla,) succeeded in getting the group to agree to some cuts in health care programs. Coburn had left the group in May over disputes in how to cut into the $14.3 trillion debt.

Some Senate Republicans and Democrats have signaled they like so far what they see form the Gang of Six. Other senators from both parties say they want to hear more before endorsing the newly emerging plan.

The Gang of Six -- Coburn, Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) -- presented an outline of the plan top 49 senators this morning.

"I cannot suggest they all signed up," Durbin told the Senate. "I would never expect that to happen, but it is significant that at this moment in our history so many felt positive towards what we are doing."

The Senate was prompted to take the lead in the debt-ceiling debate after House Republicans, led by GOP leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), gridlocked the negotiations with a refusal to allow any new revenue streams to be created as part of a deal.

The two leaders of the Senate, Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), are still working on emergency contingency legislation that would only ensure the Aug. 2 debt limit deadline is not crossed. The Reid-McConnell measure would not cut the deficit.

House Republicans, committed to appeasing Tea Party supporters, put forward a controversial plan that would cut spending by $111 billion in 2012 and cap future spending at 19.9% of the nation's gross domestic output. The proposal requires that Congress pass a balanced-budget constitutional amendment and send it to the states for the lengthy ratification process.

That "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan does not have enough support to pass in the Senate, but even if it did, Obama has said he will veto it.

1 comment:

  1. If Republicans cut Social Security payments, you can be sure the senior citizens of America will vote Democratic in 2012.