On the Senate floor moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Obama was presented with a bipartisan proposal to raise the debt ceiling -- agreed upon by Democratic leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi -- but the president "rejected it out of hand."
Senate Reid's office says this is false: There were staff discussions but no "agreement."
What McConnell said:
The responsible path forward was clear to everyone - a plan that avoided default and required additional savings before any further increase in the debt ceiling. Leaders from both parties and both houses agreed that this was the right path forward legislatively - the only thing to do at that point was to present this bipartisan solution to the president. And what was the president's response? Well, unfortunately, to demand the largest single debt limit increase in history...
There's absolutely no economic justification for insisting on a debt limit increase that brings us through the next election. It's not the beginning of a fiscal year, it's not the beginning of a calendar year, based on his own words its hard to conclude that this request has anything to do with anything other than the president's re-election.
"This weekend we offered the President a bipartisan proposal to avoid default so we could have the time we need to put together a serious plan for getting our house in order and he rejected it out of hand.
*** UPDATE *** Meanwhile, the White House appears to have embraced Reid's one-step $2.7 trillion plan. Per a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
All the cuts put forward in this approach were previously agreed to by both parties through the process led by the vice president. Sen. Reid’s plan also reduces the deficit more than enough to meet the contrived dollar-for-dollar criteria called for by House Republicans, and, most importantly, it removes the cloud of a possible default from our economy through 2012. The plan would make a meaningful down payment in addressing our fiscal challenge, and we could continue to work together to build on it with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes additional spending reforms and closing tax loopholes for corporations, millionaires and billionaires.
Sen. Reid’s plan is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties, and we hope the House Republicans will agree to this plan so that America can avoid defaulting on our obligations for the first time in our history. The ball is in their court.