April 17, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

‘Gang of Six’ Approaches Compromise on Deficit Proposal

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Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad stressed the importance of bipartisanship in trying to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling Sunday.

“I think the only question is really, whether raising the debt ceiling will be tied to spending reductions,” he said. “And I personally believe that we need to rein in government spending, cut the debt and the deficit, but at the same time make our priority jobs and economic growth.”

Sen. Mark Kirk said on “Face the Nation” that raising the debt limit isn’t a certainty.

“Maybe or maybe not,” the Illinois Republican said. “I will vote ‘no’ on raising the debt ceiling unless we have comprehensive, dramatic, effective and broad-based cuts to federal spending, including the reform of entitlement spending.”

Rep. Joe Walsh accused the administration of overstating the consequences of reaching the debt ceiling.

“The administration is playing politics with this issue, just like they’re playing politics with entitlement reform,” the Illinois Republican said in a separate appearance on “Face the Nation.” “What’s going to happen — all we’ve got to do is look in the last 20 years. Three or four times over the course of the last 20 years, Congress has voted not to raise the debt ceiling, and it’s taken a few months and then they’ve come together and they’ve raised it. But over the course of those few months when the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, Armageddon didn’t hit. The government paid its bills. We’ve got enough government revenues to certainly pay — to service all of our debt. And the administration knows that.”

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has stressed that the risk would be catastrophic, but he has expressed confidence that Congress would act in time. The Treasury Department estimates that the nation will hit the ceiling by May 16 and that emergency measures can delay a default until early July.

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