Washington (CNN) -– Three senators from across the spectrum of ideological positions said Saturday that a bipartisan debt ceiling deal was necessary in order to prevent economic crisis.
Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat; Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican; and Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican associated with the tea party, all said they were willing to work with members of the opposite party to strike a deal. Yet all three offered different specifics when it came to plans.
“We're still trying to compromise and many in the media are trying to depict us that we're not,” Paul told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We have offered up on the floor another chance to compromise. I said I'll vote for the Reid bill, I'll vote for the entire $2 trillion that the president wants so he can avoid talking about this during his campaigning.”
Paul specified he was offering to vote for the Reid proposal if it added provisions for an amendment to the Constitution that required a balanced budget.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the bipartisan plan offered by the “gang of six” was an example of something that members of both parties could agree upon.
“Let's make sure we get a vote on something that is comprehensive, that's bipartisan,” Warner said. “That's the only thing we're asking or at least I'm asking for. A third of the Senate says hey, if not the ‘gang of six’ plan, let's do something else that's comprehensive.”
Warner is a member of the “gang of six,” a group of three Democrats and three Republicans who have offered a debt ceiling plan. He said he was still hopeful that plan would get a vote in the Senate.
“It can't be a Democrat or Republican plan only,” Warner said. “I look around this town, the ‘gang of six’ plan is the only plan in this city that has a third of the Senate saying let's go forward with that framework. I hope at the end of the day that gets a vote.”
Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio, said that the two plans coming from the House and the Senate were not far apart, and that reconciling them was critical in preventing an economic crisis.
“I think there's an agreement now that there has to be real and credible reductions in spending,” Portman said on CNN. “If you look at the Boehner proposal compared to the Reid proposal, there's some similarities. I'm hopeful we can come together.”
Portman said the consequences of allowing the United States to default on its debts would be grave.
“Americans would be hurt,” Portman said. “Anyone who borrows, people who have car loans and student loans and credit card debt. Mortgages would be going up. Interest rates going up make it harder for small businesses to create jobs and opportunities. So this is of serious concern.”
Why all this political bickering from da country we xpect alot from?.Hope dat we will have an announcement before 2.8.11
I find it unethical that Congress would allow the Nation to come this close to financial default. The non-comprising Debt ceiling negotiations has already eroded consumer confidence. Why would the nation want to re-live this destabilizing fight in 2012? We do not. I will vote those Congressional Leaders out of office, if they vote to cut Medicare and Social Security yet refuse to generate tax revenue. I would hope the wealthy, who least need tax cuts and who have benefited from the Bush tax cuts, would be willing to endure tax increases for deficient reduction. I support the Reid/Obama plan to increase the debt ceiling. I do not support the Tea Party’s plan to change the constitution. The people do not want what the Tea Party suggest.
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is correct in calling for a balance approach: I do not trust the president skills to negotiate alone with the republicans; he must clearly articulate that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are not to be part of these negotiations if the richest Americans are not willing to contribute and share the burden to balance the budget.