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Klobuchar joins Senate debt talks

Posted by: under Minnesota U.S. senators Updated: July 14, 2011 - 4:33 PM

By Jim Spencer and Jeremy Herb

Sen. Amy Klobuchar predicts there will be a debt ceiling and deficit reduction bill coming out of the Senate soon.

Klobuchar said she's been meeting privately with several bipartisan groups of senators trying to negotiate a deal that will be acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans. (Correction: A previous version of this post suggested the group was involved with the "Gang of Six." Klobuchar's groups were briefed on the work of the "Gang of Six" but were meeting separately.)

The “Gang of Six”  — Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mark Warner of Virginia and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Republicans Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Mike Crapo of Idaho and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — met for months earlier this year trying to reach a deal. Coburn pulled out in May after an impasse over raising taxes, stalling negotiations.

But with the August debt ceiling deadline nearing, talks within the group started up again, and Coburn has considered rejoining.

Klobuchar said that a Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit could be introduced in the Senate next week. The deal would involve increasing the borrowing limit, while cutting spending, closing tax loopholes and ending subsidies, the Minnesota Democrat said.

Klobuchar said she plans to talk with Minnesota business leaders next week, including top executives at General Mills and 3M, to ensure they help get the word out about the ramifications of default.  Klobuchar also plans to explain to constituents how they could be personally affected by default.

“We can’t play Russian roulette with the economy,” she said.

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