President Barack Obama is losing the support of congressional Democrats for his insistence that tax cuts for the wealthy be eliminated starting Jan. 1.
Congressional democrats want to make a deal with Republicans to avoid pushing the economy over the fiscal cliff. If Congress and Obama don't take action, automatic spending cuts and tax increases are slated to begin next year.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin is floating the idea of combining a continuation of everyone’s tax cuts for six months with some budget cuts, Politico
reports. Then lawmakers could reach a grand bargain on tax and spending issues early next year without election-year pressure.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., says he’s open to any possibility. “I’ll certainly consider it,” he told Politico, referring to a short-term extension of all the tax cuts implemented during the George W. Bush administration. “But I’ll consider anything.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and other Democrats are willing to consider a temporary extension of the reduced rate for top tax payers if Republicans agree to tax increases elsewhere. Even liberals such as New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell are willing to compromise.
Real negotiations won’t take place until after the election, which means the whole equation changes if Republican Mitt Romney wins. And it’s unclear how wedded Obama is to his current position.
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