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Congress: Gang of Six gangs up

“The bipartisan proposal from the so-called Gang of Six senators to reduce deficits by nearly $4 trillion over the coming decade — and its warm reception from 43 other senators of both parties — renewed hopes for a deal days after talks between Mr. Obama and Congressional leaders had reached an impasse,” the New York Times says.

“But while its sponsorship by staunch conservatives as well as liberals suggested enough flexibility within both parties to get a deal eventually, it would be all but impossible to turn it into detailed legislation — at the moment it is a four-page outline — and pass it in less than two weeks. Both parties were considering ways to use the proposal as the basis for a broader budget agreement if they can find a way to get past the immediate pressure to increase the debt limit.”

The Washington Post adds, “As many policymakers were turning their attention to the new [Gang of Six] strategy, the Republican-controlled House forged ahead Tuesday with another approach to the debt crisis, voting to sharply cut spending and tie an increase in the debt limit to the eventual adoption of a balanced-budget amendment. The measure is unlikely to pass the Senate, and Obama has promised to veto the bill if it does.”