U.S. officials are in talks with Egyptian officials on a proposal for embattled President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, the New York Times reported Friday. Under the US-backed plan, Mubarak would hand power over to a transitional government under Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, unnamed US officials and Arab diplomats told the newspaper. Mubarak himself has not been directly involved in the talks. The proposal also calls for the transitional government to invite members from a broad range of opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to begin work to open up the countrys electoral system in an effort to bring about free and fair elections in September, the newspaper cited the officials as saying. Mubarak has indicated he will not step down until his term ends in September and said in an interview on ABC News that there would be 'chaos' if were to step down now. Senior administration officials said that the proposal was one of several options under discussion with high-level Egyptian officials around Mubarak in an effort to persuade the president to step down now. They cautioned that the outcome depended on several factors, not least Egypts own constitutional protocols and the mood of the protesters on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, according to the Times. The officials said there was not yet any indication that either Suleiman or the Egyptian military was willing to abandon Mubarak. What theyre asking cannot be done, the Times quoted one senior Egyptian official as saying, citing clauses in the Egyptian Constitution that bar the vice president from assuming power. Under the Constitution, the speaker of Parliament would succeed the president. Thats my technical answer, the official added. My political answer is they (the Americans) should mind their own business. Mubaraks insistence on staying will again be tested by large street protests on Friday, which the demonstrators are calling his day of departure, when they plan to march on the presidential palace. The militarys pledge not to fire on the Egyptian people will be tested as well. During a Senate hearing on Thursday, both Democrats and Republicans pressed a senior Central Intelligence Agency official about when the C.I.A. and other agencies notified President Barack Obama of the looming crisis, and whether intelligence officers even monitored social networking sites and Internet forums to gauge popular sentiment in Egypt. At some point it had to have been obvious that there was going to be a huge demonstration, said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senates Select Committee on Intelligence. She said that intelligence agencies never sent a notice to her committee about the growing uprising in Egypt, as is customary in the case of significant global events. In an interview with Christiane Amanpour of ABC News, Mubarak said that he was fed up with being president but that he could not step down for fear of sowing chaos in the country. Vice President Joseph Biden spoke by phone to Suleiman on Thursday, the White House said in a statement, urging that credible, inclusive negotiations begin immediately in order for Egypt to transition to a democratic government that addresses the aspirations of the Egyptian people. Bidens phone call came after a mission by Obamas private emissary, Frank Wisner, was abruptly ended when Mubarak, angry at Mr. Obamas toughly worded speech on Tuesday night, declined to meet with the envoy a second time, officials said. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has made three calls since the weekend to Egypts powerful defence minister, Field Marshal Tantawi, who served on the coalitions side in the Persian Gulf war of 1991. Pentagon officials declined on Thursday to describe the specifics of the calls but indicated that Gatess messages were focused on more than urging the Egyptian military to exercise restraint. Officials familiar with the dialogue between the Obama administration and Cairo say that American officials have told their Egyptian counterparts that if they support another strongman to replace Mr. Mubarak but without a specific plan and timetable for moving toward democratic elections Congress might react by freezing military aid to Egypt.