Federal Relations

December 14, 2012

17 Days to “Fiscal Cliff”

President Obama and House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) met for almost an hour yesterday at the White House to discuss issues related to the fiscal cliff, but there were no obvious signs of progress.  Instead, both sides appear to be holding fast to their partisan views on taxes and spending. This is the second face-to-face meeting they have held in the past week on a deal to extend expiring tax cuts and replace scheduled across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration). Republicans continue to demand additional spending cuts and democrats continue to show confidence that taxes will go up on high-income earners without having to give in on entitlement reform.  Democrats said Thursday they have no plans to discuss concessions on spending, at least until Republicans accept a tax rate increase on upper-income earners.  Many had expected a deal to come together by this point in the lame duck session.  It now appears that Congress will remain in session right up to Christmas and may even be working during the week between Christmas and New Years.