The blueprint for a deal to avoid a fiscal nightmare early next year may be found in the failed debt negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in mid-2011.
Part of their talks on a $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan included a gradual increase in the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and an alternative yardstick for calculating inflation that would reduce annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.
“Trying to get this done as soon as possible, as broadly as possible, as deeply as possible makes the most sense,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber, said yesterday.
Conrad said in a separate interview that Democrats will be less open to the level of spending cuts that Obama earlier offered Boehner because the 2011 law that increased the debt ceiling included $900 billion in cuts. “It’s going to be a new deal because things have changed and changed quite dramatically,” he said.