Skip to comments.Gang of Six, back from the brink?
Posted on 07/19/2011 11:10:16 AM PDT by freespirited
The once moribund Senate Gang of Six regained new life Tuesday after Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn unexpectedly rejoined the group and more senators are now coalescing around a new proposal that would cut the debt by as much as $3.7 trillion over the next decade.
Other top senators are also getting behind the plan, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, who told a group of senators Tuesday he would back the Gang of Sixs proposal, sources say. The fast-moving developments mean that elements of the proposal could influence the stalled talks to raise the debt-limit before the Aug. 2 deadline.
According to a copy of the plan, obtained by POLITICO, the group would impose a two-step legislative process that would make $500 billion worth of cuts immediately followed by a second bill to create a fast-track process that would propose a comprehensive bill aimed at dramatically restructuring tax and spending programs. The plan calls for changes to Social Security to move on a separate track, and establishes an elaborate procedure for considering the measures on the floor.
The $500 billion in cuts would come from a range of sources, including shifting to a new consumer price index to make cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security. The plan would impose statutory spending caps through 2015, freeze congressional pay and sell unused federal property.
To enact a comprehensive deficit plan, the group calls for congressional committees to report legislation within six months that would deliver real deficit savings in entitlement programs over 10 years, the plan says.
It calls on the Finance Committee to permanently reform or replace Medicares Sustainable Growth Rate - an outdated formula aimed at determining the amount to reimburse doctors for treating Medicare patients - by $298 billion.
The Finance Committee would be instructed to deliver real deficit savings through simplifying the tax code and raise as much as $1 trillion. It would do this by establishing three tax brackets with rates of 8-12 percent, 14-22 percent and 23-29 percent. It would permanently repeal the $1.7 trillion Alternative Minimum Tax. And it calls for establishing a single corporate tax rate, between 23 percent and 29 percent, and to move to a competitive territorial tax system.
Overall, the group claims it would result in a $1.5 trillion net tax decrease.
The group punts many of the specifics to other committees, which would be asked to find savings in discretionary and mandatory spending. This includes: $80 billion out of Armed Services; $70 billion out of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; $65 billion out of Homeland Security and Government Affairs; $11 billion out of Agriculture; $11 billion out of Commerce; $6 billion out of Energy and Natural Resources. The Judiciary Committee would be asked to find savings through medical malpractice reform.
The group spent ample time proposing ways to expedite the legislative process should there be a stalemate in committee.
If any committee cannot propose cuts, it would would impose across-the-board cuts to programs under the panels jurisdiction. It would exempt programs aimed at low-income communities.
To avoid gridlock, floor amendments that upset the deficit-reduction goals would be ruled out of order. Any bill that could receive 60 votes would be held at the desk until the Senate considers the separate Social Security bill.
Once a comprehensive deficit plan has the votes, a measure aimed at ensuring 75-years of solvency of Social Security would head to the floor. The Finance Committee would be required to recommend the Social Security changes.
Senators in the Gang of Six - Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Coburn - discussed the proposal with 43 senators Tuesday morning on the first floor of the Senate, after more than six months of struggling to broker a deal.
Coburn left the group in May but suddenly rejoined after the group added $115 billion in additional health care cuts and included the provision allowing senators to circumvent the stalled committees.
Im back, Coburn told the big group Tuesday, prompting a round of applause.
If the Republicans in the House and Senate vote for this, I will NEVER vote for a Republican again.
We need a third party if this crap happens.
It’s going to raise taxes on me and other productive people to fund the waste. NO.
Senators should by now have figured out that we are not fooled, nor amused, by this sort of shallow and transparent chicanery.
“more senators are now coalescing around a new proposal that would cut the debt by as much as $3.7 trillion over the next decade.”
...and against the American people.
Hey, I thought is was $4 Trillion. And big whoop anyway. Less than a trillion a year over the next ten - when all bets are off in 2012/13
This is crap political posturing. Time to burn the phones again. Congress must crush this “deal”
CC&B or NOTHING! let’s cut 45% in government spending. Take that to the voters. Big win!
Coburn, Crapo and Chambliss, TAX RAISERS and corrupt criminals of the worst sort.
Obama supports it.
Republicans stick a dagger in the stomachs of productive Americans if they vote for this.
The simple truth is they don’t care what we think.
Wasn’t it Coburn who said Pelosi is a nice person?
No republican will ever get my vote unless he or she is a true conservative.
Many of the senators are part of the chicanery.
"Senators in the Gang of Six - Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Coburn.....psssst must be Odumbo's accountant, there's only 5 there"
Im back, Coburn told the big group Tuesday, prompting a round of applause
Another great example of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory. When will people learn that socialists lie, little Dick Durben will not deliver and blame all things on us. Just wow.
They are also senile. Some of them need an attendant to help them urinate standing at one of those horsetroughs in a roadside Wisconsin beer joint out in the country.
Alexander is a Tennessee RINO from the old school of Howard Baker...Crapo is supposed to be conservative cause he’s from Idaho and of course Coburn has a conservative reputation ever greater than that.
But look what they are doing........
I thought Obama and the dems #1 economic policy was to let the Bush tax cuts expire and raise them on the “rich” to 39.6%. Now they’re going to lower them to 29% or less? I must be missing something. There must be something else, a catch of sorts.
The dems would never be able to go after Republicans on taxes again. They’d be cutting them for the “rich” even more than Bush did. It would pretty much be going back on their entire ideology.
Not enough info here for me to determine impact on my household’s taxes. It would get rid of the AMT and lower corporate tax rates, that much is good.
Guess they’ll have to pass it so we can find out what’s in it.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2750814/posts Dumbo likes it, the amount of money over a ten year period won’t cover the interest alone.....and of course it means no more wasteful spending right?
I’m confused at the moment. Coburn just yesterday announced his NINE TRILLION DOLLAR CUT plan. Coburn isn’t done at three trillion by any means. So, what’s up?
I think the GOP should not have politicized the debt ceiling because our US debt situation linked to Wall Street is so screwed up, it is basically too big to disrupt without taking down the entire US financial system. Tea Party have the right concept but they do not have an inkling on how late it is for the US to reform. IMHO the Tea Party should stop placing faith in the political system and prepare their own family for the impending collapse of US dollar and hyperinflation. IN OTHER WORDS IT IS ALREADY TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. If the GOP wins the election in 2012, tax cuts will not restart the economy because the very large debts and liabilities are still on corporate balance sheets or transferred to federal gov as part of the bailout deal. Until those debts disappear or paid off by debtors, the US economy will remain stagnate. Japanese economist call it the “balance sheet depression”. If GOP chose austerity the US voters will vote them out in 2016. If the Dems choose spend and tax the voters will throw them out in 2016. As a bank critic and expert Chris Whalen pointed out in his analysis the US faces a fiscal and cultural crisis. The average American is not ready to accept the necessary austerity to pay off our debts (tax increases and/or spending cuts). So what is left is political paralysis, cultural denial and the debt will increase and ultimately implode the nation. Rising from the chaos will be the end of democracy and rise of a US dictatorship. IMHO it is already too late for political action, and what is left for individuals to do is prepare their families and have some extra set aside to take care of other family members who did not listen and prepare. After that, everyone else is on their own when it comes to trying to buy food, obtain guns and other vitals in a hyperinflation dollar collapse or currency reset.
Now there's a rigid standard.
How dare they.