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Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 07/25/2011

Democrats cool to John Boehner’s debt plan

The details of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan for raising the country’s debt ceiling have not been released, but House Democratic leaders slammed the outlines of the deal, which would raise the federal borrowing limit in two stages.

“How does that get [voters] out of the abyss of dark uncertainty?” House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) asked reporters at an event on job creation. “If the clock is only extended, if the problem is only kicked down the road ... so there can be more machinations? ... So they can continue the high theater and drama? No. Democrats stand united behind the fact that we need everybody to be an adult in the room.”

Larson dismissed the nascent proposal as “the plan du jour” and said the vote to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit should be a “clean” one, meaning one with no spending cuts attached.

But such a “clean” proposal is not among the two latest options put forth by congressional leaders. Boehner previewed his plan in a Monday morning call to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, who recounted the speaker’s remarks on his radio show. The proposal would lift the debt ceiling through next April while achieving $1.1 trillion in deficit savings. A 12-member bipartisan group would decide on which cuts to make. There are no tax increases in that proposal.

Another plan, being put forth by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), would raise the debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion and would not include any measures to increase tax revenue.

Larson said that he hoped members would be able to examine both proposals more carefully at a meeting Monday evening. His initial reaction to the Reid plan, however, was a positive one.

He said members’ understanding of the plan is “that it does not include ending the benefits of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. And so from that standpoint, that’s something that Democrats have always stood solid on.”

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By  |  02:02 PM ET, 07/25/2011

 
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