This list was constructed based on interviews with lawmakers and aides involved in budget negotiations. The existence of these proposals suggests that the two parties made huge progress on at least the spending side of talks and that any new deficit reduction talks can begin with much of the preliminary work already done.
At the same time, it is generally unlikely that any of these specific proposals would be enacted except as part of a broader agreement that at a minimum includes some form of revenue increase and possibly other entitlement changes.
Many of these ideas were proposed in similar form by Democrats and Republicans alike. Others would be acceptable to those on both sides of the aisle, only if a broader deal were to be reached.
The dollar amounts in the list represent very rough estimates of savings over 10 years, and do not necessarily reflect formal scorekeeping by the Congressional Budget Office. In some cases, savings were presented in a range, and the figure in the list above is the upper limit of the range. The amount of savings available from a few of these proposals is diminished because they have been used to offset the budgetary cost of such things as the payroll tax cut enacted earlier this year (as noted in italics in the list).