President Barack Obama hailed a proposal offered Tuesday by Republican and Democratic senators as “a very significant step” that represents “the potential for bipartisan consensus” on resolving the impasse over cutting the deficit and lifting the debt ceiling.
But reality quickly settled in, as House Republican leaders expressed skepticism, Senate leaders were noncommittal and rank-and-file members of both parties questioned whether it just is too late to pull everything together.
The president appeared in the White House briefing room hours after the “Gang of Six” briefed senators on its plan to cut the deficit by $3.7 trillion over 10 years, in part by raising $1 trillion in new revenue. Obama’s decision to align himself with the Senate package aims to further marginalize House Republicans, who have resisted any debt plan that includes new revenues.
Already, there were efforts to brand the plan as containing tax increases — a label that could kill the proposal in the House — even though the group claims its proposal would result in a $1.5 trillion net tax decrease by repealing the alternative minimum tax and lowering tax rates.
“I would have a problem with a trillion dollars in new revenue,” Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-Mich.) said Tuesday.