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Senate conservatives withhold support from McConnell debt plan

Senate conservatives are withholding their support for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE's (Ky.) fallback plan to raise the debt limit.

McConnell has proposed legislation that would authorize President Obama to request an increase in the debt ceiling, which Congress could block only with a resolution of disapproval. But Senate conservatives are declining to support it.

"My focus is to take a different approach," said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who offered a budget plan earlier this year cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in spending.

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"I really need to get on a path to a balanced budget. That's what the cut, cap and balance plan would do. It would balance the budget," he said, referring to a plan supported by other conservatives that would entail deep spending cuts, enforceable spending caps and passage of a balanced-budget amendment.

Conservative groups have pushed lawmakers to insist on passage of a balanced-budget amendment before agreeing to raise the debt limit.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Rand Paul calls for punishment if Congress can't reach a long-term budget deal MORE (R-Ky.), who said that's also his concern, declined to endorse the McConnell plan.

"I'm still trying to work on our plan, and our plan is we want cut, cap and balance," Paul said.