WASHINGTON_Senate Democrats Friday plan to begin consideration of their plan to cut federal deficits by $2.2 trillion and raised the debt limit through the end of 2012as House of Representatives Republicans remained deadlocked over how to proceed with their own proposal.
As the fractured House GOP met behind closed doors Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he will move ahead with his planeven though its unlikely to draw many, if any, Republican votes.
The deadline will not move, he said of the deadline for raising the nations $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Unless that ceiling is raised by Tuesday, the government will default, triggering an economic panic and probably throwing the nation back into recession.
We have hours, I repeat, hours, to act, said Reid, speaking on the Senate floor as he opened the Senate for business Friday. Thats why, by the end of the day, I must take action on the Senates compromise legislation.
Reids plan is similar to the House plan. Reids blueprint would cut about $750 billion from discretionary spending, or spending on programs like education and transportation that Congress can more easily control. He would also save $1 trillion from the winding down of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And he would create a bipartisan 12 member congressional committee to look for further savings.