Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | 2:45 p.m.
Top House Democrats are warming to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s proposal that would slash $2.7 trillion over the next decade in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, even as Republicans remain staunchly opposed.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday told reporters that the Reid plan contained components that both sides have favored. She said it’s better than the two-step, short-term plan proposed by Speaker John Boehner.
“It’s a way to get the job done and what I like best about it is that it takes us through 2013,” Pelosi said. “So the confidence we’re trying to restore is restored for a long enough period of time, and we don’t have to go through this again in a few months.”
Her No. 2, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, said the Reid plan was “not the plan I would’ve been for,” but it’s still the preferred option and would get a “very large number” of Democratic votes in the House.
“I think the Reid plan accomplishes everything [Republicans] asked for,” he said, ticking off spending cuts and no new revenue. “They won’t take yes for an answer.”
Boehner has said the plan as “full of gimmicks” and is pushing his own proposal, which would lift the debt ceiling in two steps, initially cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years and enact a congressional commission to identify further cuts.
But Democrats have bashed the Ohio Republican’s proposal, which could come to the House floor on Wednesday, mainly because of the two-step process in increasing the debt limit. The initial debt ceiling hike – between $900 billion and $1 trillion – is estimated to take the country until sometime in the winter.
Hoyer said he would vote against it and imagined that House Democrats – except a “very few” – would do so as well.
“It will continue to roil the markets and will not be effective in bringing stability and confidence that Republicans said was essential,” Hoyer said.
Another senior Democrat, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said earlier this week that because Reid’s plan didn’t include cuts to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, his fellow House Democrats could get on board.
This story was originally published at 1:25 p.m. on Politico.com.