Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said the Republican-backed plan to avoid a government shut down is "acceptable," but that it is "not the way to go."
The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires March 4 and members of Congress are in negotiations to avoid a government shutdown. Most recently, leading Democrats appeared open to the Republican proposal that would include $4 billion in cuts and fund the government for an additional two weeks while a more permanent deal is worked out.
"Honestly I think this two-week business is not the way to go," Conrad said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think there should be a longer term agreement, hopefully through the end of the year."
But when asked if the Republican plan was acceptable, the Senate Budget Committee chairman said, "It is acceptable to me to have four billion in savings in a two-week package." He added that the deal is "up for discussion and negotiation."
"I think that's clearly headed in the right direction," Conrad told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Is that the end of the story? The way this town is, probably not, but we're getting close."
He also voiced support for the proposals issued by the president's deficit commission on which he served, saying everything - including entitlement programs - needs to be on the table.
"Be modest at the beginning but do something big over the 10 years," Conrad said. "Don't try to balance this on 12 percent of the budget. Be comprehensive."
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