NEW YORK (
) -- Senate Democrats presented a two-step plan on Monday for a federal budget that would raise the debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline and would not include new tax revenues.
Republicans had opposed any tax increases, and the bill backed by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid focused on spending cuts of $2.7 trillion.
"This is an offer that Republicans can't refuse," said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) "Make no mistake about it: The two-step plan outlined by Speaker
John Boehner is a dodge."
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada (right), accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.
Boehner spoke to the media late Monday afternoon about his plan, which, aside from how long it raises the debt ceiling, is similar to the plan created by Senate Democrats. Boehner did not acknowldge the proposal Reid made earlier in the afternoon.
"I think it would be irresponsible for the president to veto
Republican legislation, because it is a common sense plan and it would help us avoid default," Boehner said.
Boehner's plan proposed $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and a temporary increase in the debt ceiling that would be revisited in six months.
The White House announced its support of the proposal shortly after Reid and Schumer released the plan.
Senate Democrats said that they would not include tax revenues in their deal because it was important to pass a plan to raise the debt ceiling in time to prevent a government default. "We can have the fight on revenues later," Schumer said.
Reid said that all the proposals in his plan were previously supported by Republicans, and he said that if they rejected the deal, it would mean that Republicans wanted a default.
The Democrats' offer would not affect Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security and would allow the government to raise the debt ceiling through 2012 -- a departure from Boehner's plan, which would raise it for only six months.
The Democrats' bill would slash $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending, save $1 trillion by winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and $400 billion in interest. The remaining $100 billion in cuts would come from mandatory savings like reforms in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and in agriculture.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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