Debt gang to unveil plan to other senators Tuesday
Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota
July 18th, 2011
07:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Debt gang to unveil plan to other senators Tuesday

Washington (CNN) – Members of a bipartisan group of senators who worked for months to forge an agreement to make deep reductions in the federal debt will unveil a plan to slash trillions of dollars off that debt over the next 10 years.

The former Gang of Six members will reveal their plan privately Tuesday to a group of 40 to 50 senators.

"We're presenting the progress we've made," said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, the Budget Committee chairman. "It's a comprehensive approach that reforms entitlements, reforms the revenue code, cuts spending, is balanced and is in the range of $3.6 (trillion) to $3.7 trillion."

"We're going to ask people if they are interested in pursuing this," he said.

Conrad has been critical of the direction of recent debt ceiling talks involving Congress and the White House, saying they don't go far enough to reduce long-term debt. But the work of his group isn't likely to have much effect on the debt ceiling debate, which must be resolved in about two weeks or the U.S. will default.

An aide to one member of the group said he did not think all members had actually signed off on a formal proposal. Conrad wouldn't directly answer whether they had done so.

"We've agreed to this presentation," he said.

The Gang of Six includes Conrad and two other Democrats, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Mark Warner of Virginia. It currently has two Republicans: Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Crapo of Idaho. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, dropped out of the group after months of work over disagreements with the direction of the negotiations.

The gang's original goal was to put in place the recommendations of President Obama's fiscal commission, which called for debt to be reduced by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

Coburn on Monday proposed his own plan to cut the debt by $9 trillion over 10 years through a combination of spending cuts, entitlement overhaul and tax reform. He acknowledged the plan would not pass, but said he hoped it would spark debate on the issues he raised with it.

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Dick Durbin • Kent Conrad • Saxby Chambliss • Tom Coburn
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. lgny

    There have now been at least 4 serious budget proposals (including the Ryan plan). What will it take for Congress to consider actually enacting one of them? They all seem to disappear after a week or two of publicity. Meanwhile, we need to get moving on the deficit.

    July 18, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. A disillusioned Republican

    Maybe if Coburn wasn't a quitter, they could have come to some agreement.

    July 18, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would have hoped that the GOP would have put its unnatural hatred of taxes aside for the betterment of the country. Apparently, it is party over country with some of them like Grover Norquist. He seems to be an unreasonable king maker. The idea is to do something. If the GOP can't or won't be willing to raise taxes in addition to cutting some loop holes, then they might be the most responsible for this situation. They could have done this kind of thing during Geoge W. Bush's first 6 years. They squandered that by over spending and not paying for the military actions that were taken.

    July 18, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. BOBBB

    Let me point out that if the GOPers accepted obama cuts, of whatever number, and the GOP accepted some revenue increases, the NET EFFECT would still be in their favor. They get their claims of less (overall) government.

    July 19, 2011 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  5. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Prediction: This "compromise" will not result in corporations or the filthy rich making a single sacrifice, while the rest of us will be expected to sacrifice. The GOBPbaggin' cult of corporatist political prostitutes have become utterly transparent in their efforts to serve the corporations and filthy rich who bought them.

    July 19, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |