Debt showdown and the 'Gang of Six'
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A bipartisan group of senators unveiled an ambitious deficit-reduction plan on July 19 that calls for limiting Social Security increases and reducing mortgage and other cherished tax deductions, a last-minute development that quickly won praise from President Obama and could provide a path to break a months-long budget impasse. With House Democrats and Republicans hardening their positions over whether and how to raise the nation's debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline, the group of senators dubbed the "Gang of Six" outlined the framework of a deal they said would cut the deficit's growth by $3.7 trillion over 10 years. About $1 trillion of that would be raised by overhauling the tax code to lower individual and corporate rates while slicing myriad loopholes, shelters, and deductions. The proposal attracted support from rank-and-file senators in both parties, if not yet their leaders. Here are some key players and comments, reactions:
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