McConnell-Reid vs. Gang of Six

A bipartisan budget plan brings a glimmer of hope to the debt-ceiling talks, says Jonathan Capehart.

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Rep. Tom Coburn of the Gang of Six (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The re-emergence of the Gang of Six (GO6) and the backing of President Obama [Tuesday] is a glimmer of hope that the willful insanity over the debt ceiling will give way to a credible plan that puts the United States on a credible fiscal path. It would cut $3.7 trillion in spending over 10 years, reform entitlements and add additional revenue. Everything the bond-rating agencies want and the nation needs. But in case an agreement can't be reached on the GO6 plan, Obama also called on Congress to keep pushing ahead on the dreaded McConnell-Reid deal.

My fingers are crossed that GO6 does indeed win the day.

McConnell-Reid is one big legislative bad choice. If the measure doesn't pass, the full faith and credit of the United States would be destroyed, and a world of hurt would be unleashed on the American people. If it does pass, the U.S. avoids default, but the prospect of a devastating downgrade to AA by S&P would skyrocket. This is why I argued that what we're seeing is Washington moving fast to make a train wreck of its own creation less bad.

When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week announced a plan to raise the debt ceiling, I slammed it as his "Plan C(haos)." But his diabolical plan has changed and now includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The bipartisan effort is laudable but late, and might not stop fiscal calamity. That's because it doesn't come close to doing what the bond-rating agencies want to avert an unprecedented downgrade of the credit rating of the United States.

Read the rest of this article at the Washington Post.

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