Spirit of compromise appears to awaken in Capitol
WASHINGTON — Congress' rank and file — which will decide whether the nation avoids plummeting off a fiscal cliff in less than seven weeks — is showing a new willingness to negotiate and compromise, a message their leaders will carry on Friday to President Obama.
But they will warn in the first post-election White House talks aimed at crafting an agreement that those lawmakers have a shared history that has to be overcome. For the past two years, Washington has been paralyzed by partisanship, and the scars of the battles are still raw.
What's different now is that lawmakers heard the message from voters last week: Stop bickering and get the economy moving again. And don't wait to do something until hours before the Bush-era tax cuts expire Dec. 31 and automatic spending cuts take effect two days later.
Senators and members of the House of Representatives are suggesting almost everything is negotiable — spending cuts, tax rates, Medicare, Medicaid — and there's widespread agreement any deal has to be a combination of cuts in spending and increases in tax revenues.
Even the most contentious point, the top tax rates, appears to be on the table.
“People are really eager to get an agreement. I've rarely seen a mood like it,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
“There's a willingness to give serious consideration to new revenue that wasn't there before the election,” agreed Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.
Lawmakers are listening to the voters. Two out of three Americans say that going over the fiscal cliff will have a mostly negative impact on the economy. Sixty percent say it would have a mostly negative impact on their own financial situation, according to a post-election poll by the Pew Research Center.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Door left ajar to boots on ground to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
- White House committed to ethanol, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack says
- ATF told to pay ex-agent $173K
- Search for missing U. of Va. student shifted
- Yellowstone bison could be culled by 900
- 3,000 U.S. troops to join fight against Ebola with $763M plan
- Improved economy drives first decline in the national poverty rate in 7 years
- Entire Calif. town lost to wildfire as dozen other blazes rage
- Ohio bus driver dies removing girl from harm’s way
- HealthCare.gov website’s security flaws put users’ personal info at risk
- U.S. to assign 3,000 from U.S. military to fight Ebola