Debt Ceiling Deal Has ‘Huge’ Momentum, Says Corker, a Top GOP Senator

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., says Gang of Six deficit proposal is ‘still alive’

Sen. Bob Corker, seen here on July 21 in Washington, is optimistic a debt deal will get done. (Photo: AP) Sen. Bob Corker, seen here on July 21 in Washington, is optimistic a debt deal will get done. (Photo: AP)

With only six days left to reach a debt ceiling deal, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said Wednesday there was “huge momentum building on both sides of the aisle” to pass a legislative package that not only raises the debt limit, but also includes deficit reduction measures to avoid a ratings downgrade for the United States.

At the same event called, "Protect 2011: Workplace Benefits and Financial Security," sponsored by the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, a Democratic senator said the so-called Gang of Six proposals were still alive.

Corker said that while he’s “incredibly frustrated” with where Congress is in the debate, he “congratulates” both House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for unveiling competing plans that raise the debt limit and also reduce spending. Both plans were undergoing consideration around Congress, with Boehner's plan seeking to add more cuts and shore up wavering Republican support.

“I’m optimistic,” Corker said during remarks at the Financial Services Roundtable event, because “we’re just now getting on the right topic—finally,” which is spending cuts. He said Congress would spend the next six days moving toward a solution that raises the debt limit and cuts the deficit.

When asked whether such a measure would be in the form of two competing solutions, Corker replied: “I don’t know.”

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., said at the same event on Wednesday that while she believed a debt ceiling deal “will get done,” she admitted to having many sleepless nights. “The consequences of a default are extremely dangerous,” she said.

Hagan added that she supported the Gang of Six senators’ deficit reduction proposal which would cut about $4 trillion out of the nation’s debt over 10 years. She said the proposal was “still alive” and that the language from the proposal “could be dropped in to [a debt limit package] to have people look at it in the future.”

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