Dems and their Failed Leader truly own the economy Senate Democrats draft debt-reduction plan - The Washington Post The very strong feeling was we needed to get this into the conversation, because it provides an alternative view, said a Senate Democrat familiar with the blueprint, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been publicly released. Whats striking is how modest the changes need to be to get us back on track. On Friday, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) visited the White House to brief Obama and Vice President Biden on the blueprint, which differs significantly from the framework under discussion with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other leaders. I explained to the President and Vice President how the Senate Budget Committee Democrats developed a plan that achieves $4 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced and fair way, Conrad said in a statement. It is my hope the plan will help influence the bipartisan negotiations and help them reach a comprehensive and balanced deficit reduction agreement. Republicans dismissed the Democratic blueprint, saying higher taxes would be devastating to an economy already weighed down by a 9.2 percent unemployment rate. In their spending plan, House Republicans proposed to save $4 trillion entirely through spending cuts; they would also eliminate Medicare as an open-ended entitlement after 2021. If theyre calling for $2 trillion in tax hikes in the middle of a jobs crisis, its little wonder that its been 800 days since Senate Democrats passed a budget, said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart.