Boehner Not Eager for Deficit Deal During Lame-Duck Congress

Monday, 08 Oct 2012 11:30 AM

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House Speaker John Boehner isn’t enthusiastic about the idea for a comprehensive budget deficit reduction deal during the lame-duck congressional session after the November elections.

“I think that’s difficult to do,” he told Politico. “And frankly, I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do — have a lot of retiring members and defeated members voting on really big bills. That’s probably not the appropriate way to handle the lame duck.”

With the budget deficit set to surpass $1 trillion for the fourth straight year and the $1 trillion fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases staring Congress right in the face, clearly something will have to be done soon. But Boehner obviously thinks it’s wiser to leave the heavy lifting until after Jan. 1, and he will work for a smaller accord during the lame duck.

Experts see a short-term agreement to push the fiscal cliff down the road as the most likely outcome of the lame-duck session. That makeshift agreement would also include the basic tenets of a long-term solution.

Boehner’s job may be much easier if Mitt Romney wins the White House, as he wouldn’t have to worry about placating a Democratic president. But he’s ready to deal with any contingency. “Listen, I’m going to play whatever hand I’m dealt – period,” Boehner said.

Republicans are expected to easily retain control of the House in next month’s elections. “Our team is doing real well from one coast to the other,” Boehner said. “We’re going to keep the House.”



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