The problem we have now is we're in the 11th hour and we don't have a lot more time left. The good news is that today a group of senators, the Gang of Six, Democrats and Republicans -- I guess now Gang of Seven, because one additional Republican senator added on -- put forward a proposal that is broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged. What it says is we've got to be serious about reducing discretionary spending both in domestic spending and defense; we've got to be serious about tackling health care spending and entitlements in a serious way; and we've got to have some additional revenue so that we have an approach in which there is shared sacrifice and everybody is giving up something.
And so, for us to see Democratic senators acknowledge that we've got to deal with our long-term debt problems that arise out of our various entitlement programs, and for Republican senators to acknowledge that revenues will have to be part of a balanced package that makes sure that nobody is disproportionately hurt from us making progress on the debt and deficits I think is a very significant step. And as I said, the framework that they put forward is broadly consistent with what we've been working on here in the White House and with the presentations that I've made to the leadership when they've come over here.
So here's where we stand. We have a Democratic President and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts, modifications to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare that would strengthen those systems and allow them to move forward, and would include a revenue component. We now have a bipartisan group of senators who agree with that balanced approach. And we’ve got the American people who agree with that balanced approach.
My hope, and what I will be urging Speaker Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, as well as Leader Reid and Mitch McConnell, is that they, tomorrow, are prepared to start talking turkey and actually getting down to the hard business of crafting a plan that can move this forward in time for the August 2nd deadline that we’ve set forward.
Just a couple of other points I will make. Some of you may ask, what does it mean for the plan that Senator McConnell and Senator Reid had been working on? Our attitude is, is that that continues to be a necessary approach to put forward. In the event that we don’t get an agreement, at minimum, we’ve got to raise the debt ceiling. So that’s the bare minimum that has to be achieved, but we continue to believe that we can achieve more.
And so I want to congratulate the Gang of Six for coming up with a plan that I think is balanced. We just received it, so we haven’t reviewed all the details of it. It would not match perfectly with some of the approaches that we’ve taken, but I think that we’re in the same playing field. And my hope is, is that we can start gathering everybody over the next couple of days to choose a clear direction and to get this issue resolved.
So far, at least, the markets have shown confidence that leadership here in Washington are not going to send the economy over a cliff. But if we continue to go through a lot of political posturing, if both sides continue to be dug in, if we don’t have a basic spirit of cooperation that allows us to rise above immediate election-year politics and actually solve problems, then I think markets here, the American people, and the international community are going to start reacting adversely fairly quickly.