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Senate budget chairman: Short-term extension is best answer

- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Wednesday it's impossible to enact spending cuts, a tax code overhaul and changes in benefit programs in the less than two weeks left before an Aug. 2 government default deadline.

Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, said on MSNBC that a short-term extension of the debt limit is the most likely solution for Congress and the White House.

Mr. Conrad, a member of the so-called "Gang of Six" senators, said he believes 40 senators back his group's $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction proposal and a program of tax changes and revisions in the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Mr. Conrad conceded in an interview that some proposals are unpopular, but he said, "We're all going to have to do things we'd prefer in a perfect world not to have to do."

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