For some time now, we've been pushing hard for the Gang of Six plan to be used as the basis for a debt ceiling deal. We've recognized some of the problems with such an approach in a previous post, and we concluded that the benefits outweighed the costs.
The Gang of Six proposal is bipartisan because it is the result of lengthy negotiations between three Democratic Senators (Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad, and Mark Warner) and three Republican Senators (Tom Coburn, Saxby Chambliss, and Mike Crapo). When the final result was introduced on the Hill, it piqued the interest of Republican and Democratic Senators alike and suggested that the proposal could garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate. It's also the only proposal that raises revenue by closing tax loopholes (a gain for Republicans because it doesn't raise taxes, and a gain for Democrats because it allows for revenue to come into the government as part of a final deal), and it contains spending cuts and tax reforms that Republicans like.
By contrast, the Reid proposal on the table now seems unlikely to beat a filibuster. The Democrats would have to vote en masse for it and gain at least 7 Republican votes - a very tall order in this political climate. In addition, it's simply bad legislation. The American people want a bold, bipartisan deal that provides some gain for both sides. Neither Reid's proposal or any House proposal provides the sort of grisly but effective compromise governance that Americans want, and none of those proposals will pass in the Senate.
If and when the Senate deadlocks on the Reid proposal, the Senate leadership will have to account for why they didn't work hard enough on the only bipartisan proposal in town.
Previous Posts On The Debt Ceiling Debate:
The Gang of Six has the best shot at getting the House and Senate votes to resolve the debt ceiling impasse. Here's why
Details about what's inside the Gang of Six proposal
Republicans had their "Cut, Cap, Balance" bill. Democrats now need to vote on their own dream bill
From the Cayman Islands To Congress: Why The Senate Should Vote On Closing Tax Loopholes
S.1323: Senate rejects "shared sacrifice" by millionaires in deficit reduction - vote results and analysis
S.1323: Should taxing millionaires be on the table for deficit reduction? The Senate votes to proceed to the measure 69-27
S.1323: Why we got the first vote wrong, and what to expect in the upcoming budget debate
S.1323: Today, the Senate will draw the battle lines in the deficit debate with a vote that will fail. Find out why and how.