Bloomberg News

Reid Revises Debt Bill to Include McConnell Two-Step Process

July 29, 2011

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid revised his debt-limit proposal to adopt a two-step procedure modeled after one proposed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that would let the president raise the ceiling in two steps unless a supermajority of Congress blocked it.

According to a summary of the new plan, the borrowing authority would be provided in two separate $1.2 trillion installments, one immediately, and one in several months, the next time the nation nears its borrowing limit.

All but the first $416 billion could be blocked through a joint resolution of Congress, though opponents would have to muster supermajorities in both chambers to override a veto.

The new plan would yield debt savings of $2.4 trillion -- the same as the total borrowing authority extended -- and call on a 12-member bipartisan congressional committee to draft legislation to lower the deficit to 3 percent or less of gross domestic product.

The panel would be directed to consider other bipartisan plans, the summary said, such as the one proposed by the “Gang of Six,” a group of three Republicans and three Democrats that negotiated a package to shave $3.7 trillion off the long-term debt over a decade through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Hirschfeld Davis in Julie Hirschfeld Davis in Washington at jdavis159@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laurie Asseo at lasseo1@bloomberg.net


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