Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Thursday that he expects both the Republicans and Democrats’ current deficit proposals to fail.
“Speaker [John] BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan fans GOP civil war over Donald Trump The Trail 2016: GOP stages of grief John Boehner to attend GOP convention MORE’s [R-Ohio] plan may or may not pass the House — I assume it will,” Conrad said on FOX News’s “Happening Now.”
“But it will fail in the Senate. Senator [Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] has a plan here [in the Senate], but I think it’s likely that at this moment that won’t get cloture, won’t get 60 votes.”
The Senate likely would take a cloture vote on Reid’s bill in order to limit debate, avoid a filibuster and move forward to a vote.
Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said he is “certainly” in favor of Reid’s proposal. He added, however, that “behind the scenes there are negotiations under way” to find a way to reconcile the two bills.
He also said Congress has to reach a “deadlock” before achieving a “breakthrough.”
Conrad said he believes Congress is on a “path” to achieving a breakthrough before the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. But he does not expect the breakthrough to be either Boehner’s or Reid’s bills.
“Reality is that both sides have to see that their favorite position cannot prevail,” Conrad said. “It’s at that point you can reach a principled compromise. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re very close.”
The Gang of Six is “going to be prepared to be a part of the solution” once the deadlock happens, Conrad said. The group of senators has a draft that is undergoing revision by “the staffs of all the members,” he said.
“After both sides see their preferred position will not prevail, that will be the key moment, and there’s a lot of work going on for that key moment,” he added.
The other five senators in the Gang of Six are Tom CoburnTom CoburnThird-party push gaining steam GOP faces existential threat Sanders tops 2016 field in newly deleted tweets MORE (R-Okla.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerTurf battle erupts over hot cyber issue Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Week ahead: Rival encryption efforts clash on Capitol Hill MORE (D-Va.), Mike CrapoMike CrapoHousing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Bipartisan effort seeks end to budget gimmicks Republicans mum on possibility of Trump filling Supreme Court seat MORE (R-Idaho) and Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinLobbying World Judiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Elizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth MORE (D-Ill.).
Coburn and the rest of the group announced a deficit-reduction package earlier in July that would make $9 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, slash defense spending and raise nearly $1 trillion in revenue by ending tax breaks.
--This post was updated at 4:31 p.m.