Is it me, or does the Washington Post have a huge scoop starting in the eleventh paragraph of this story?
Key senators in both parties are backing a plan put forward by Conrad and the Budget Committee's senior Republican, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), that would create a task force of lawmakers and administration officials. The task force would wrestle with the details of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the tax code, and deliver a reform plan to Congress for a vote later this year.
Under the proposal, the task force's recommendations could not be amended; the House and Senate would be required to accept or reject them without changes or additions, similar to the process lawmakers use to close military bases.
The potential story, if true, is enormous: there would be a sweeping plan to trim entitlement spending and raise tax revenue (perhaps through tax reform), and members of Congress could only vote the whole thing up or down.
The sourcing here seems pretty thin. The Post reports, "Obama and his allies nonetheless have said that they view a grand bargain as a political imperative," though it doesn't say that the administration favors the commission plan. The only people who are quoted on the record as supporting it are George Voinovich and Kent Conrad.Still, the fact that some senators are pushing this idea and that they think the administration might back them is pretty big news.