Perhaps the House Republicans need to consider reviving the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles package as their Republican bargaining strategy. Though the package isn't perfect – Republicans cringe at the tax increases while Democrats despise the spending cuts – in many ways, it certainly is more reasonable than the offer currently on the table (a true "balanced approach").
The virtues of Simpson-Bowles right now are that it includes entitlement reform, actually reigns in spending, simplifies the tax code, and most importantly, is a bipartisan commission that originated from President Obama. And because Simpson-Bowles originally had more Democrat support than Republican support, it would put the Democrats in a tough spot if they rejected it in the Senate.
Coming off the fresh wounds of this Senate Bill that adds $3.9 trillion to the deficit in 10 years, offering the Simpson-Bowles package may be just what the Republicans need as a rallying point. It is already written and we all know what is in it -- just do it!