Senator Conrad Has A Plan


Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, laid out a solution to the fiscal cliff problem: split the difference.


Conrad, who was a member of the Bowles-Simpson Commission, said that between the president’s last offer and the speaker’s last offer, we could come close  to reaching the magical $4 trillion number in deficit reduction that experts say is needed to stabilize the debt.


Conrad also said he hopes that the president’s “stripped down” plan, which he presented Friday afternoon, is not the one Congress has to settle for.


“I would hope we have one last attempt” to stabilize the debt, Conrad added.


Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), the third-ranking senator in the GOP caucus, said he believes the president wants to leave this unresolved, because there is “political victory at bottom of the cliff.”


Asked whether he can guarantee Senate Republicans will not filibuster the president’s stripped down proposal, Barrasso said he cannot even guarantee the Democrats would vote for it.


“I believe we are, and I believe the president is eager” to go over the cliff, Barrasso reiterated.