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Obama open to short-term deal on debt ceiling. Here are five ideas.

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Sen. Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota listens to a reporter's question outside of the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday.
Harry Hamburg/AP
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2. 'Gang of Six' lite

The draft plan released on Tuesday by the “Gang of Six” senators revived hopes that a bipartisan “grand bargain” was still possible. The draft plan aims to cut $3.7 trillion over the next decade, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and more than $1 trillion in increased tax revenues.

The plan will take months to fully implement, but elements could be lifted for a short-term fix, says Sen. Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota, chair of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the Gang of Six. These include a $500 billion “downpayment” on spending cuts that could be grafted on a short-term fix to raise the debt limit.

“The complete plan that we’ve put forward could not be finished in just a matter of weeks, because you are not going to reform the entire tax system of the United States in a matter of weeks, that’s going to take months and months and months,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

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