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Cliff Notes: On the Road

Posted: December 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm   /   by

Cliff Notes: On The Road

You know that guilty feeling you get when you justify putting off responsibilities so you can go out with friends and just relax for a bit?  You tell yourself it’s someone else’s job, but you know deep down they aren’t going to get it done.  That feeling should be settling in with most of Washington right about now.  With five days until American heads off the fiscal cliff, with “no resolution in sight,” lawmakers are hoping “someone” puts together a plan to avert a crisis at the last minute.  But they aren’t going to come back to Washington just to “do nothing.” Sounds sensible, right?  Sure it does …


Washington Spins Its Wheels, Goes Nowhere:

POLITICO: “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing” (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing,” POLITICO, 12/26/12)

Five Days Left, No Resolution In Sight. “And New Year’s could be even worse, with no resolution in sight to avoid tax hikes for all and deep spending cuts set to take effect in a week.” (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing,” POLITICO, 12/26/12)

Lawmakers Playing A “Waiting Game” In Hopes Someone Will Produce A Plan. “With only a week left before a deadline for the United States to go over a ‘fiscal cliff,’ lawmakers played a waiting game on Monday in the hope that someone will produce a plan to avoid harsh budget cuts and higher taxes for most Americans from New Year’s Day.” (Thomas Ferraro and Alina Selyuhk, “Lawmakers play waiting game with ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline in sight,” Reuters, 12/24/12) 

Steny Hoyer: Fiscal Cliff Talks “Going Nowhere.” “The ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline is days away and the US Congress and President Barack Obama have left town for Christmas.But even if they were still here, it wouldn’t have mattered, according to Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. He says they were going nowhere to resolving the disagreement over how to fix the nation’s fiscal problems.”  (Richard Cowan and Fred Barbash, “Stop-gap fix most likely outcome of US fiscal cliff talks,” Reuters, 12/26/12)

House Members Have “Nothing To Do.” “As of Christmas Day, House members had not received the standard 48-hour warning to come back to Washington to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff. The reasoning is simple, aides say: Boehner and other GOP leaders aren’t going to herd 433 lawmakers back to town with nothing to do.” (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing,” POLITICO, 12/26/12)

Talks Have “All But Ceased” In The House And The Senate:

“Once-robust talks between aides to Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Boehner have all but ceased. … Congress is nowhere to be seen.” (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing,” POLITICO, 12/26/12)

No Talks Since Friday. “There have been no talks between party leaders or between the White House and GOP officials since Friday, when President Barack Obama and Congress left town for Christmas, officials close to the negotiations say. That dims the prospect that any backup plan for averting the fiscal cliff could be devised and moved through the Senate when it reconvenes Thursday, as some expected.” (Janet Hook, “Cliff Negotiations Take Holiday Break,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/24/12)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Yet To Step Into The Spotlight. “The public collapse of talks between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has in the past been the signal for Mitch McConnell to step into the spotlight. … So far, the Senate minority leader has remained in the shadows.”(Paul Kane, “Congress Waits To See If McConnell Will Join ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate,” The Washington Post, 12/22/12)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Seems To Be Going It Alone. “There are still have been no conversations between Democrats and Republicans Tuesday on how to avert the ‘fiscal cliff.’That’s a sure sign that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working on crafting legislation on his own, which he’d essentially dare Republicans in the House and Senate to pass just before the deadline.” (Nancy Cordes, “What would be in Sen. Harry Reid’s ‘fiscal cliff’ plan?,” CBS News, 12/25/12)

May Not Take Up Cliff Talks Again Until Just Before New Year’s Eve. “Congressional leaders and the White House are taking a holiday break in negotiations over how to avoid year-end spending cuts and tax increases, and may not take up the issue in earnest again until just before New Year’s Eve.” (Janet Hook, “Cliff Negotiations Take Holiday Break,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/24/12)

Lawmakers Playing It Cool Despite Growing Fears:

“No Outward Signs Of Worry.” “Though Republicans and Democrats have spent the better part of a year describing a plunge off the cliff as a looming catastrophe, the nation’s capital showed no outward signs of worry, let alone impending calamity.” (Thomas Ferraro and Alina Selyuhk, “Lawmakers play waiting game with ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline in sight,” Reuters, 12/24/12)

Lack Of Urgency Feeding A Growing Pessimism. “The seeming lack of urgency is feeding a growing sense of pessimism. Increasingly in private conversations, Republican lawmakers say options to resolve the fiscal cliff are dwindling.” (Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, “Washington’s Christmas Gift To America: Nothing,” POLITICO, 12/26/12)

Will President Obama Be Able To Put Together A Grand Bargain This Time?

President Obama Cuts Holiday Short To Get Back To Washington. “With a year-end deadline looming before the economy goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is cutting short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday evening.” (“Fiscal Cliff Crisis Prompts President Obama To Cut His Holiday Vacation Short,” Fox News, 12/26/12) is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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Cliff Notes: On the Road