Dem leaders praise McConnell's debt plan

"I am still studying it and discussing it with senators, but I am heartened by what I read," he continued. "This is a serious proposal. And I commend the Republican leader for coming forward."

McConnell's (R-Ky.) plan, presented to his conference at its weekly lunch Tuesday, would require President Obama to make three separate requests to raise the debt limit. Congress could pass resolutions of disapproval to block the requests, but those actions would require two-thirds support in both chambers, to override expected presidential vetoes. 

The proposal from the Senate Republican leader would require Obama to request three tranches ranging between $700 billion and $900 billion. Those requests would be made at the end of this month, later this fall and in the summer of 2012.

It also would require Obama to recommend a greater amount of spending cuts for every dollar he requests to raise the debt limit.

Reid added that he believes McConnell's plan could be part of a greater solution on lowering the deficit. 

"The Republican leader’s proposal, combined with ideas he and I have been discussing to force a vote on deficit-reduction proposals, could go a long way toward resolving the impasse in which we find ourselves," Reid said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday congratulated McConnell on the plan, calling it a "positive and thoughtful response" to the need to raise the debt ceiling.