Sen. Warner: 'Gang Of Six' Budget Plan Could Gain Broad Support

Jul 19, 2011

As Mark reported earlier, President Obama threw his weight behind a budget plan that a bi-partisan group of senators knows as the "Gang of Six" crafted and presented today.

In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the gang, said the plan could find support among Republican members of the House of Representatives, who have been adamant about supporting any kind of tax increase.

As Associated Press puts it, the plan cuts the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next ten years and it accomplishes those savings by closing loop holes in the tax code and by cutting spending, including a repeal of a program called CLASS, which was included in last year's health care reform law.

Warner told Robert that the Gang of Six based the plan on the outline set forth by the Simpson-Bowles Commission report. He said their plan raises revenues through "tax reform" that looks at "tax expenditures, tax loop holes and tax deductions." He said that because the plan lowers the overall tax rates, it will be within the no-tax-hike pledges that the members of the Tea Party have taken.

Warner said the cutting of the CLASS program — which is focused on long-term care for the functionally disabled — would provoke push back from his fellow Democrats.

"There are things in this plan that everybody will like... and there are things that everybody will dislike," he said.

He added: "At the end of the day what the American people need to look at is... will we owe less debt 10 years from now if we have this plan? We will owe $4 trillion less," he said.

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