Fiscal Cliff Notes for Dec. 13, 2012
18 days to the fiscal cliff
STILL HEADING TOWARDS THE CLIFF
House Democrats now have 182 signatures on a "discharge petition" to force GOP leaders for a vote on extending tax breaks for the 98 per centers. There are 191 Democrats (counting out former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and all the signers are Democrats. 218 signatures are needed. The petition dramatizes the partisan divide.
Upcoming on Thursday: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) each hold press conferences.
DEMINT UNLOADS: OBAMA WANTS FISCAL CLIFF "POLITICAL TROPHY"
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who is quitting the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation, unloaded on President Barack Obama in a Thursday morning interview with Charlie Rose and Gayle King on CBS' "This Morning" in a conversation about the looming fiscal cliff--where he predicted Obama will get the tax hike on the top earners he wants.
DeMint, a father of the Tea Party movement said he president's proposal clearly is not a plan. It's not a solution. It'll fund the government for a few days."
As for Obama's insistence on letting the tax rates rise for the top two percent, DeMint said "we all realize it's a political trophy. It's not a solution. But the president has been campaigning against these tax rates for a long time, and he'll probably eventually get his tax increases, one way or another."
IF WOMEN SENATORS IN CHARGE: WOULD HAVE A DEAL BY NOW
"I think if we were in charge of the Senate and of the administration that we would have a budget deal by now," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told ABC's World News Diane Sawyer in an interview the anchor had with female senators. The entire interview will be televised in January.
The new Congress--sworn in on Jan. 3--will have a record 20 females.
BOEHNER'S BRENDAN BUCK: ON THE RECORD
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck explains the GOP position:
"I understand a distinguished White House official is making calls to reporters saying the GOP counter-offer called for permanent extension of all current tax rates. This is either intentionally misleading or the work of someone who does not understand what tax reform means. Our offer has always been to raise significant revenue from top earners without raising rates - and tax reform in 2013, which - by definition - would replace the existing code. (The only thing permanent would be the new code.) No stipulations have been placed on the structure of tax reform, but it should be no surprise to any of you that we (and the president as recently as last year) believe significant revenue can be generated through tax reform without rates ever needing to go up - they could potentially even go down (as suggested by the President, circa 2011).:
POLLING SENDING MIXED SIGNALS ON CLIFF ISSUES
From Fox News:
Voters Say Spending Cuts are a Must
If Washington is looking for guidance on the fiscal cliff, voters are sending mixed signals. A majority says major spending cuts are necessary to solve the country's budget woes -- that solely raising taxes on the wealthy isn't enough. Even so, the most popular proposal among voters for reducing the deficit is, you guessed it, raising taxes on the rich.
Click HERE for the questionnaire
DEMOCRATIC LEADERS PRESS 121212 PRESS CONFERENCE