President Obama reacted positively to a deal by the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Six” that has been negotiating an agreement for months, saying it included the kind of framework that he might accept.
Senators from both Parties appear to be falling in line behind the plan, though the big question mark is whether it could get enough Republican support to pass the House.
The plan gained a major victory when conservative deficit hawk Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) rejoined the Gang of Six after quitting this spring, and the group gained a new member – apparently Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a member of the GOP leadership whose presence apparently now makes it the Gang of Seven.
The group is distinct from a separate assembly of House and Senate lawmakers who have been negotiating with Vice President Biden.
The plan would decrease the deficit by about $3.7 trillion over the next ten years, with spending cuts but also include about $1 trillion in new taxes.
But in a possible lure for House Republicans, the proposal would in total be scored as a $1.5 trillion tax decrease because it would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, according to early reports. It’s not clear to me why this would not cause President Obama to walk away, or how you get to $3.7 trillion in cuts with a $1.5 trillion tax decrease.
Obama, who appeared it the White House briefing room, said lawmakers would begin the resume their trips to the White House to negotiate off the the Group of Six plan.
I will update as further information comes in.