Sen. Lieberman could roll out debt-reduction plan next week

Lieberman has been a vocal opponent of the $1.2 trillion in automatic national defense and domestic cuts triggered by the failure of the bipartisan deficit-reduction supercommittee.

A hawkish former Democrat, Lieberman said in early November that if the supercommittee failed to fashion a debt-cutting plan, “we would have failed to uphold our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense.”

He called the $600 billion in national defense cuts — which would be in addition to $350 billion already being enacted — “devastating.”

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Asked Thursday if he was involved in efforts to void the $600 billion in national defense cuts, Lieberman made it clear he still is working on a broader debt deal.

“My first choice for avoiding the defense cuts, and the non-defense cuts, is to figure out a way to cut another $1.2 trillion overall,” Lieberman told The Hill. “To do that, you’ve got to begin to reduce the spending on entitlements and to raise revenues. I’m focused on trying to do that before we get into the sequestration.”

He said he “could be ready to announce something next week.”

Lieberman did not name names, saying only that he is working with “a lot of the people who have been supporters of [the] Simpson-Bowles [commission] and the Gang of Six. I think we’re coming close.”

The Gang of Six was composed of three Senate Republicans and three Senate Democrats who spent much of the year working to turn the Simpson-Bowles panel’s recommendations into legislation. The Gang agreed to a framework, but never arrived at actual legislative language.

Lieberman said he “wants to get it drafted and get it to a vote on the floor” of both the House and Senate “in the first quarter of next year.”