Breakthrough On Debt Deadlock

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 3:09pm

New bipartisan plan could stalemate.

There is a possible breakthrough deal to end the deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.

Details are not yet clear but two key factors are known: The plan has bipartisan backing and it includes tax hikes.

President Obama announced the proposal by the "Gang of Six" during Tuesday's White House press briefing.

It would raise the debt limit, deeply cut spending and add the tax hikes demanded by Democrats.

President Obama's announcement undercut House Republicans pushing through a debt ceiling hike linked to a constitutional amendment to balance future budgets.

That plan faced strong opposition in the Senate.

A short term debt ceiling deal crafted by Senate leaders McConnell and Reid is Plan B.

Tea Party organizations sent a letter warning Republicans not to back Plan B, and a crowd of Tea Party lawmakers marched to the White House Tuesday demanding no deal on the debt without big cuts.

"We're here because the American people told us overwhelmingly: cut the spending cut the debt," said Pennsylvania Tea Party freshman Representative Tom Marino.

In fact, Americans are divided.

55% in the latest USA Today poll said spending is the big problem.

55% in an NBC News poll said not raising the debt ceiling is a serious problem.

President Obama says both issues could get fixed by the Gang of Six plan.

More than 50 Senators from both parties attended the Gang of Six meeting Tuesday.

They still must get the details worked out to beat the August 2nd deadline.

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