Posted on | December 10, 2012 | 18 Comments
On the one hand, I hope everybody’s having a happy holiday season — and shopping our amazing Amazon holiday deals! — while on the other hand, I suspect you’re bummed out by the tedious ongoing downer in Washington. Politico:
Time is running short — and so are the options available to avert the fiscal cliff.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have just 21 days to resolve their differences over how to handle more than $500 billion in expiring tax rates and steep spending cuts.
Although they met Sunday for the first time in more than three weeks — signaling a new, potentially more productive stage of the negotiations — there was no progress on the staff level ahead of that sit-down, according to Democratic and Republican sources.
The White House and Capitol Hill are now staring at a narrow set of options fraught with political and policy peril.
Yadda, yadda, yadda. Washington Post:
The contours of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff are becoming increasingly clear. But progress has been slow, and time is running out for leaders to seal an agreement and sell it to restless lawmakers who so far have been given little information.
With hope still alive for a resolution by Christmas, President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met Sunday at the White House, their first face-to-face meeting in nearly a month and their first one-on-one session since July 2011, when they last tried to forge a far-reaching compromise to tame the national debt.
Neither side would provide details, but White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage and Boehner spokesman Michael Steel released identical statements saying “the lines of communication remain open.”
It’s either (a) a hopeless stalemate, or (b) the prelude to a total GOP surrender, and there not really anything you or I can do about it. Which means there’s only one thing to do . . .