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Blunt: Deficit Reduction Plan Not Helpful Now

Dan Warner
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A U.S. senator says he supports much of the reform proposed in the “Gang of Six” deficit reduction plan, but it’s unlikely the plan will have an impact before the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says the bipartisan plan’s sweeping changes to tax code and entitlement spending have merit, but probably won’t prove helpful in the current debt limit negotiations. He says the proposal lacks the specificity necessary to make it a viable option in the next two weeks.
“There are a lot of questions and not nearly enough answers yet on a very far-reaching and pretty complicated proposal,” Blunt says.
The creators of the plan have said that it is only an outline, and would require a short-term extension of the debt limit to give legislators time to craft it into a cohesive bill. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who is a member of the Gang of Six, told KMOX this morning that the strength of the plan lies in its compromises from both sides of the aisle.
“This debt is serious, we ought to take it seriously,” Durbin said. “It involves not only spending cuts, but it involves putting everything – underline the word everything – on the table.”
Sen. Blunt says he will only support a short-term debt limit extension if it includes some spending cuts. He says the plan could give hope to congress that it can find a solution through compromise, which could prompt lawmakers to extend the debt limit in order to create a bill from the proposal.
Blunt also says that while the nation must raise the debt limit, there are other concerns as well.
“[Analysts] say that it would have a long-term negative effect on our credit-worthiness if we don’t extend the debt limit,” Blunt says. “But they also say it would have a long-term negative effect on our credit-worthiness if we don’t change our spending behavior.”

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