Feinstein sees a Senate debt solution
July 24th, 2011
10:38 AM ET
12 years ago

Feinstein sees a Senate debt solution

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein said a deal to raise the debt ceiling is being held hostage by Republican politics, but that she can envision an agreement in the Senate to prevent default.

The California Democrat said on Sunday there are currently 39 senators who support the so-called “Gang of Six proposal” put forward by three Democrats and three Republicans that would include a combination of spending cuts and revenues to reduce mounting budget deficits and bring Republican support to raise the limit on how much money the government can borrow.

“It’s a big step forward for the Senate,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If that could be wrapped into a proposal that would provide the length of time to do it and do it carefully, I think you have an arrangement.”

She said Senate Democrats would probably accept “three parts cuts to one part revenues” in a deficit reduction deal, but would not accept $4 trillion in cuts with no additional revenues.

“We strongly believe that the wealthiest in our society should help with the crisis,” Feinstein told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “It should be a fair share plan, not just the people who are poor and dependent on these programs. That’s not unreasonable.”

However, any agreement reached in the Democratic-controlled Senate would have to pass through the Republican-controlled House and vice versa before it reaches the president’s desk.

Talks are ongoing between President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders to reach a deal after Boehner announced Friday he was withdrawing from direct negotiations with Obama. Republicans and Democrats involved in the talks expressed optimism they could avoid a default on U.S. obligations.

Feinstein said Republicans are attempting to take a “meat ax” to social programs that affect millions of her constituents, including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Cuts to those programs, she said need to be tackled with care so “it hurts people the very least.”

Yet she added that it is Republicans who have walked away from the table, first from negotiations with Vice President Joe Biden and then from talks with Obama.

“This is the first time in 19 years I feel that something that can be done very simply is being held hostage for a very high-stakes game,” Feinstein said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Dianne Feinstein • Senate • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. cindy

    No way should a deal go through where we have to watch and listen to this constant carping at each other in 5 months. Get the debt ceiling done. the gang of six plan sounds good. Try it and if it doesn't work do your jobs and try something else. put in a clause of sorts that it is set in stone

    July 24, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Julie

    This is a good idea. Get it done in the Senate and then let the House vote it up or down.

    July 24, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. The Obama Recession Continues Unabated, Obama Depression on the way

    Why not just raise the debt limit to $100 TRLLION??? We're good for it aren't we? OR rather our kids, grand kids and great grand kids are good for it right? Can't we just live it up now, give everybody freebies and force the unborn residents of this country to pay for it?

    Welcome to the Democrat plan. Total fiscal insanity.

    July 24, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Ken in NC

    It is said in this article that Republicans and Democrats involved in the talks expressed optimism they could avoid a default on U.S. obligations. How can they beleive their own "Bull" talk when they can't even agree to fund the FAA to keep our skies flying in a safe manner? You have one side willing to negotiate and another side saying there will be no negotiations. It must be their way or no way. Well if Democrats give in to Republicans many Americans will die from various causes like starvation or medical issues because of no health care and if the Republicans give in they will not get re-elected to office. Since neither is acceptable to the entire nation they must compromise. OK so Republicans say no compromise and we default and everyone loses and blames the other while China comes over here and buys up the rest of the country. Our elected officials need to start using some common sense.

    July 24, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. DB

    “We strongly believe that the wealthiest in our society should help with the crisis,” Feinstein told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley." She forgot mention that spending is out of control in washington and need fiscal responsibility. You can soak reach and still not enough to pay the bills.

    July 24, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Republicans didn’t’ realize that Debt ceiling debate hurting the party that is a big problem here

    “People crating jobs in China and India getting tax break but we have to carry the burden because we don’t have job” this is the voice across the nation

    “They want Americans to blame us because they don’t want to take responsibility look like they are stabbing us look now they attacking Michele Bachmann ” Tea party member talking about republican

    July 24, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Time for another change

    "he debt ceiling is being held hostage by Republican politics,"?

    How about the out of control spending by Democrats hold hostage the entire country?

    July 24, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Thom Real American patriot

    "The Obama Recession Continues Unabated, Obama Depression on the way" . . .

    Which was caused by the Republicans, and continues because of Obstruction by the republicans.

    July 24, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. GI Joe

    DB – the deficit crisis is about getting the money to pay for what we borrowed for two unfunded wars, unfunded Medicare D (medicine), and give the wealthy tax breaks and subsidies and loopholes (which took away money we COULD have usedd to help pay those bills). Get some learnin, DB.

    July 24, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    The neo-Nazis in the House have already shot down the Gang of Six proposal, Diane.

    Try to keep up.

    July 24, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    “We strongly believe that the wealthiest in our society should help with the crisis. It should be a fair share plan, not just the people who are poor and dependent on these programs. That’s not unreasonable.”

    Yes, it's highly unreasonable.

    Why should the people who already pay 90% of the taxes, being compelled in the process to subsidise the half of the population who pay no income taxes, be forced to pay even more? Yes, "It should be a fair share plan," but how is discriminating against more successful people in any sense "fair?"

    For decades, politicians like Dianne Feinstein have created endless "programs" the purpose and effect of which is to compel working Americans to support the irresponsible, the indolent, and the improvident. And now Feinstein has the unmitigated gall to try to claim that it's somehow "unfair" for working Americans to finally realise that merciless advantage is being taken of their kindness, and that enough is altogether enough!

    July 24, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Henry

    I agree that we should go with the Gang of Six plan. Equal sharing of the "wealth". Why are the Republicans so heck bent on not raising taxes? I think that they are ideologically so invested that they just cannot see or appreciate any other point of view.

    July 24, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Raise the debt ceiling with out any condition now

    Extend retirement age but don’t touch social, Medicare and medical put in the ballot we will deicide in 2012

    Companies who create jobs here get tax break, who create jobs in overseas pay more tax

    Legalize marijuana to get more revenue (any way they are smoking let them pay tax)

    Give only residency to illegal immigrant with every year visa fees let them buy house we have to clear houses lot of house in the market. Because they have jobs now. Cities and states can make money (driver license fee every year $50, car insurance tax , property tax ,health insurance etc)

    July 24, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. RS, CA

    Feinstein also failed to mention that half the country pays NO taxes at all. How about EVERYBODY pay their fair share? And NO Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid for illegals! (But then, WHO would be left in CA to vote for Feinstein, Pelosi, etc.?)

    July 24, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Sue in NC

    It is obvious that the radical republicans don't care what they do to the majority of the country just as long as they and their campaign contributors continue to enjoy the social programs that they receive. If they want to truly help America, cut their own FREE health care, & lifetime pensions (approx.$400 million per year), subsidies for Corporations, and tax Corporations that take jobs outside America.

    July 24, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. John

    Tea party will not agree to any Tax revenue increases. They are extremists and would rather have the country go over a cliff than compromise. This has to be done between the GOP and the Dems.....

    July 24, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Myron8160

    The republicans plan for the dept is to help the greedy not needy

    July 24, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Henry

    I love Republicans. They always come out with these extremists positions. They are principled to a point where they are unable to accept the thoughts of others. My way and my way only. That is the only way they operate. It really is a big problem and one that will cause our country to suffer.

    July 24, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. annie s

    Republicans are holding this country hostage to the failed idea that somehow corporate welfare and ultra low taxes for the rich create jobs – in spite of the fact that we have LOST 8 million jobs since the unfunded Bush tax cuts were enacted. Are they just lying to us because their corporate masters insist on it – or are they just too stupid to look at the facts? Either way, please vote them out in 2012 so that this country may move forward and be successful in the 21st Century.

    July 24, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Myron8160

    The republicans and teaparty are the new Kkk

    July 24, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. independent voter

    Its sad to see how ignorance prevails common sense. People who would benefit the most from entitlement and social programs are fooled into believing that the republicans are on their side. They let their blind hatred get the best of them and vote against their own interest. Republicans don't care about you or I. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

    July 24, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Walter

    It's so funny that the left says we can't put a proposal through in the Senate because it won't be approved in the House. That didn't stop the House from putting through a proposal that was lambasted and ignored by the Senate. Democrats need to put forth a bill in the Senate so they can at least say they did something other than being the party of "no".

    July 24, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Myron8160

    The republicans are squeaky mean not SQUEAKYCLEAN get rid of trash we call TEAPARTY

    July 24, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Rick H.

    Well then where in the Hell is this "plan" she "sees"?

    The comments of the libs on this thread are typical and show the main problem holding the country back – people who want the govt to steal other peoples' money and eventually make it flow toward them.

    July 24, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Patrick from Minnesota

    Let's do the math: the debt limit was raised no fewer than 11 times during the Reagan Administration and another 7 times during the Bush Administration (not very fiscally conservative at all). And NOW the Republicans think raising the debt is irresponsible when the President is of the opposing party? The whole lot of them are hypocrites and they know it. The Republican party makes me sick and they all deserve to lose their jobs in 2012.

    July 24, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |