Democratic aides say their bosses are waiting for a “real” GOP offer beyond the Monday suggestion put forward by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) which involved about $300 billion in new revenue from capping tax deductions and $40 billion from changing the way inflation is calculated as it relates to the tax code.
Democrats scoffed at that offer because they say the gains are erased by the fact the offer “locks in” Bush-era tax rates and lowers the top rate from 35 percent to 28 percent.
Democrats have proposed extending only the Bush-era rate reductions for the middle class and emphasize they have put real entitlement cuts on the table including to Medicare benefits.
On Wednesday it was revealed that Democrats had made their own revised offer to Republicans during the Monday night meeting.
In lieu of the $3 trillion deficit cutting offer, Democrats put forward a $2.3 trillion plan, according to an aide familiar with the talks. The plan demanded fewer revenues and also did not contain a proposal to change the way inflation is calculated. That "chained consumer price index" plan would lower Social Security benefits, and it is vigorously opposed by AARP.
It total the new Democratic offer on the table has $1 trillion in revenue, $1 trillion in spending cuts and $300 billion in lower interest payments.
The GOP rejected that offer.
GOP aides said the offer and say that a 1:1 revenue to cuts ratio is not serious.
A Democratic aide said that the Democratic offer is "balanced and serious" and noted that offer does not add to the deficit under Congressional Budget Office scoring rules. Democrats say the GOP offer adds trillions to the deficit by extending Bush era tax cuts.
Republicans in contrast emphasized that the Democratic offer came prior to the Toomey proposal, something Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) praised on Wednesday.
"“Right now, we are waiting for a response to what the second-ranking Democratic Leader in the Senate called ‘a breakthrough’ – and we’ve seen nothing," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.
This post was updated at 7:10 p.m.