Super Congress: Reps. Upton, Bacerra, Hensarling, and Sens. Murray, Kyl, Baucus, Portman and Kerry
All of the specifics haven't been released yet, but Reuters has learned that the Catfood Commission II Democrats have released the outline of their budget proposal to the full committee in a closed-door session.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Democrats are proposing $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion in measures to reduce the budget deficit, including revenue increases and significant cuts to Medicare, congressional aides told Reuters.[...]
According to congressional sources, the plan includes a roughly equal mix of spending cuts and revenue increases; between $200 billion and $300 billion in new economic stimulus spending that would be paid for with lower interest payments from reducing deficits; and around $400 billion inMedicare savings, with half coming in benefit cuts and the other half in cuts to healthcare providers.
An aide to a Democrat on the committee told HuffPost that the Medicare cuts included in the offer are derived from markers the president had laid out in previous negotiations, and don't necessarily represent the position of the Democrats on the committee, who question whether there is any proposal at all that Republicans would accept.
Why Medicare benefit cuts are being offered isn't clear, but presumably it's in that good-faith kind of Max Baucus-y Democratic way, in order to try to get Republicans on board with revenue hikes. Nice to know that those benefit cuts "don't necessarily represent the position of the Democrats," (which probably won't go over particularly well with the Congressional Democratic caucus, who see protecting Medicare as a powerful political tool for 2012).
If those Democrats on the committee think that offering these cuts up won't be used against them by Republicans, they need to take a look at recent history and think again.
11:21 AM PT: Update: Sam Stein reports that raising the eligiblity age for Medicare isn't in the proposal, which was presented by Max Baucus. So there's that, at least.