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Latest Debt Plan Targets Social Security, Medicare

Advocates for seniors critical of 'Gang of Six' proposal

Obama has continued to meet with House Republican leaders to find a solution that would allow an increase in the debt ceiling. Without it, the country will not be able to pay all its bills beginning Aug. 3 and could default on its debt for the first time in history.

Pete Peterson, head of a foundation in his name that pushes for deficit solutions, praised the Gang of Six approach for balancing spending cuts with revenue increases.

"These six senators have done what we need all of our elected leaders to do: come together on a comprehensive bipartisan plan that addresses America's long-term deficits in a big way," Peterson said.

In addition to Chambliss and Warner, the group includes Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Michael Crapo of Idaho, and Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Kent Conrad of North Dakota.

Even if the Gang of Six proposal loses ground for political or logistical reasons, parts of it may survive.

"It's virtually impossible to do this overarching change before the Aug. 2 deadline, but these ideas are clearly in the mix long-term," Certner says.

Tamara Lytle is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C., area who has covered government and politics for more than 20 years.

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