After a briefing by Senate Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters he does not believe that the Biden group can come to an agreement on the $4 trillion of cuts that the Republicans are asking for to offset a raise in the debt ceiling before the August 2nd deadline.
Instead, the member of the defunct "Gang of Six" sees a two-step process where a "downpayment on the deficit" will give lawmakers more time to craft a larger plan.
"I think we can do it in two steps, but probably not more than two steps -- a serious downpayment on the deficit, and then some serious work to getting to the $4 trillion-plus in deficit reduction that Bowles-Simpson dealt with," he said. "We're just not going to be able to accomplish that by August 2nd.
"So if we can reach a downpayment agreement that gets us past the August 2nd, extends the debt ceiling, with the understanding that we're going to go back and finish the work for $4 trillion debt sooner rather than later, I think that makes sense. I hope Vice President Biden can get an agreement that can get us through the election; I don't know if he can. But what I'm suggesting is if it takes those two steps, I know, having working as long as I did on reaching the $4 trillion number that you can't do it in a matter of days, or weeks. We have to think about how we do this and how we make it work."