Cliffhanger: Fiscal Cliff Talks Down To The Wire

December 31, 2012

The drama over the  so-called “fiscal cliff” enters its final day before the deadline on Monday, with no agreement between Democrats and Republicans.  Americans will face tax increases and deep government cuts on Tuesday if no agreement is passed and signed before then.

In a prayer at the opening of Sunday’s Senate session, Chaplain Barry Black asked God to help the two parties find a compromise. “Lord, show them the right thing to do, and give them the courage to do it.  And save us from self-inflicted wounds,” he said.

By the end of the day’s session, the prayer was still unanswered.

The top Senate Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the talks would move into the crucial final hours on Monday. “There is still significant distance between the two sides, but negotiations continue.  There is still time left to reach an agreement, and we intend to continue negotiations,” he said.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked Vice President Joe Biden to enter the negotiations.

The top Senate Republican was frustrated that Reid had not made a counteroffer to his proposal from late Saturday, and said Democrats have shown a lack of urgency in the talks. “The sticking point appears to be a willingness, an interest, or frankly, the courage to close the deal.  I want everyone to know I am willing to get this done, but I need a dance partner,” he said.

Biden and McConnell, former Senate colleagues, have negotiated previous agreements.

President Barack Obama expressed his frustration about the impasse in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” recorded Saturday.  The president blamed Republicans for the failure to forge a compromise.  “I think anybody, objectively, who has looked at this would say that we have put forward not only a sensible deal, but one that has the support of the majority of the American people, including close to half of Republicans,” he said.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner retorted that it was the president, not House Republicans, who was unable to say yes to a deal.  In a written statement, Boehner said, “Americans elected President Obama to lead, not cast blame.”

If legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff” is not passed by Congress and signed by Mr. Obama by the end of Monday, almost every American would face a substantial tax increase.  Government programs, including defense, would suffer severe budget cuts, and unemployment benefits would be slashed.

Economists and officials from both parties agree that failure to reach an agreement would have a devastating effect on the U.S. economic recovery.

Pictured top: President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

[VOA]

Comments

15 Responses to “Cliffhanger: Fiscal Cliff Talks Down To The Wire”

  1. Marie on December 31st, 2012 4:50 pm

    Well you get what you voted for. I did not vote for any of them so not my fault all of us voters who wanted something else have to pay for the people who thought things were going to get better LOL.

  2. James Broel on December 31st, 2012 4:06 pm

    Right on David Green…

  3. David Huie Green on December 31st, 2012 11:22 am

    REGARDING:
    “but we can’t have prayer in schools or other governmental locations.”

    You can pray anywhere; you just can’t tell others when and how to pray just as they can’t tell you when and how to pray.

    David for truth

  4. David Huie Green on December 31st, 2012 11:18 am

    I believe voters should limit terms by re electing or not re electing those in office.

    If a woman is doing a decent job, she shouldn’t be fired for having worked too long.

  5. Jane on December 31st, 2012 10:02 am

    I agree with the idea of term limits…however then they would do as they please because they know the last term is the end and they don’t have to run again. So anyone have a better idea, aside from blaming the Republicans or the Democrats?

  6. fred on December 31st, 2012 9:49 am

    …And who wants to bet that one of the “fiscal cliff” cuts will be Congressional salaries? Any takers? Nah, me neither.

    All they do is get paid by us, and get paid a lot more by their PACs and special interests… and run for re-election. The saddest story is that all it really takes to win a Congressional election is some snappy sound bites, and pandering political statements to their individual districts. We, the electorate, have such a short memory. In the long run, folks, the buck stops here, with us. Let’s exercise our rights and clean out the House and the Senate. Vote them out and replace them with responsible people who will do the work and stop playing dangerous games with our money.

  7. well on December 31st, 2012 9:48 am

    Seems like a group of 2 yr olds. No it’s mine, no it’s mine……..blah blah blah

    It’s not just dem or rep. Its politics. Stop voting down your lines and vote for new people. No need for term limits then.

  8. Bob on December 31st, 2012 9:25 am

    That’s what happens when you elect people that are supported and funded by special interest and pledge of no tax increase. You got what you voted for in the house. They don’t care about you just thoes special interest. Boehner and his group of thugs are the greatest threat to our future.

  9. JimD on December 31st, 2012 9:23 am

    With congressional approval so low, now is the time for the “People” to retake our government can call for national term limits on these people. If you haven’t done something in 6 – 10 years, you aren’t the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    As part of that term limit, they leave with no benefits. When you have a job and leave, do you get something if you have failed…besides a pink slip?

    The only item that is on the agenda after they are elected, is the next election.

  10. LmfHave on December 31st, 2012 9:18 am

    This is what you get when you put non- caring anti- Christian people like Obama and his cronies in the White House. He could care less what happens to this country!

  11. who knows on December 31st, 2012 9:18 am

    It’s sad that congress can open with prayer (we all know that they can use all that they can get) but we can’t have prayer in schools or other governmental locations.

  12. Friction Against the Machine on December 31st, 2012 8:52 am

    Washington has zero leadership on either side of the aisle.

  13. fred on December 31st, 2012 8:09 am

    And, Mr. Boehner, the people elected you and all the members of the House and Senate to do the people’s business, which includes handling fiscal matters. You and your colleagues have failed miserably, choosing to play partisan political games and “fiscal chicken”. You all deserve to be recalled by the electorate and replaced by people who will properly represent the citizens and act responsibly.

  14. Bob on December 31st, 2012 7:57 am

    This is the very reason people have lost faith in the system and voter turnout is so low nation wide. You elect people to do a job and once they get in office they act like a bunch of sultry eight year olds. This is not just on the national level it touches us locally just as well. Our county government is just as out of control as the Federal Government just a smaller scale.

  15. Jane on December 31st, 2012 6:06 am

    This is another example of how the Democrats, Republicans and the President can’t work together. And the people will suffer for it in the end…again.





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