America

Obama Lauds 'Gang Of Six' Budget Plan

At the White House moments ago, President Obama threw his support behind the efforts of a bi-partisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six" who are crafting their own budget-reduction plan that includes spending cuts and revenue increases.

It is "broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged," Obama said.

As for the negotiations he's been involved in with Republican leaders from Congress, the president said there has been "some progress" in recent days, but that "we're now in the 11th hour" before a deal needs to be reached in order to give lawmakers time to pass a package before the Aug. 2 deadline when the government's "debt ceiling" expires.

It's time for Congressional leaders "to start talking turkey," Obama said.

As The Associated Press writes, the bipartisan Gang of Six has "reached agreement on a major plan to cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the coming decade. ... More than $1 trillion of the deficit cuts would come from tax increases reaped as Congress overhauls the loophole-choked U.S. tax code. It would also repeal a long-term health care program established under the last year's health overhaul and force up to $500 billion in cuts from federal health care programs over the upcoming decade, according to documents provided to senators at a Tuesday morning meeting but not publicly released."

The members of the gang:

— Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

— Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

— Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).

— Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID).

— Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

— Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Obama also said he understands why House Republicans want to vote today on their "cut, cap and balance" plan. But he repeated the legislation will not pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and that he would not sign it if it did.

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