By Alexander Bolton - 07/26/11 03:23 PM EDT
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Tuesday dismissed a Democratic plan to cut $2.7 trillion from the deficit and raise the national debt limit.
McConnell said a plan introduced Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would not solve the partisan impasse that could lead to a national default next month.
McConnell warned that negotiations over the next three days could determine whether Congress raises the debt limit by Aug. 2, a deadline set by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to avert a default.
“The decision we make in the next 72 hours will have a real impact on every American,” McConnell said. “These decisions should be based on how they will affect the people who are struggling to get a job, not how they affect some politician’s chances of getting elected.”
McConnell and other Republican leaders have criticized Reid’s plan for counting $1 trillion in direct savings and $180 billion in interest savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They say those savings would happen anyway because President Obama already has announced his intention to draw down troop levels.
Democrats have countered that House Republicans included these war savings in the budget plan they passed earlier this year.
Reid defended his plan on the Senate floor.
He argued that all the cuts in his proposal have previously been endorsed by Republicans and would cut more than a competing plan sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“Every single spending cut in the proposal has already been endorsed by Republicans,” Reid said. “The cuts have already been voted for by Republicans in both houses of Congress. In short, it’s everything the Republicans have demanded wrapped up in a bow and delivered to their door.”
Watch McConnell below.