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Gang of Six Can't Produce Real Plan Before August 2

2:58 PM, Jul 20, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Hill reports

Key Senate Democrats on Tuesday said the Gang of Six’s $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction proposal could not be included in a package to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2.

Senate Democratic whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), a member of the Gang of Six, said Tuesday the group’s plan is not ready to be attached to legislation to increase the debt limit.

“The Gang of Six plan has not been drafted nor has it been scored by the CBO — it’s not ready for prime time,” Durbin said, making reference to the Congressional Budget Office. “But as a concept, I think we have the starting concepts together, and that’s what we presented today.

Does this mean the Gang of Six proposal is dead? Not necessarily. Obama has backed off his vow to not sign a short-term pledge under the following condition: “We would not support a short-term extension absent an agreement to a larger deal,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today. “That's not acceptable.  Obviously, if both sides agree to something significant, we will support the measures needed to finalize the details of that.”

Got that? Obama will sign a short-term deal so long as Congress agrees to a long-term deal that exists in theory but not in actual legislation. A deal on the Gang of Six "plan" would also require John Boehner and a large number of House Republicans to go along with it. Will they really vote for a plan that raises tax revenues by $2 trillion over ten years? James Capretta calls it "the worst plan so far."

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