WASHINGTON — A bipartisan Senate plan to cut about $4 trillion from deficits over the next decade emerged as a possible debt-reduction compromise Tuesday, as President Barack Obama touted its ideas as "broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged."
But while Obama's push gave new momentum to a deal to cut spending and raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit, a final agreement remained elusive.
Determined Republicans in the House of Representatives won approval by 234-190 of a conservative plan to slash federal spending dramatically, but their "cut, cap and balance" plan won't become law, since the Democratic-led Senate won't go along, and even if it did, Obama has vowed to veto it if it reaches his desk.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wouldn't endorse the complete $4 trillion package crafted by the bipartisan so-called "Gang of Six," saying he wanted to see more specifics. He warned that there's probably not enough time to adopt such an ambitious plan before the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling or force the government into default.
"I'm happy to work and use anything in the Gang of Six that we can, but remember, we only have 13 days," Reid said.