At Fiscal Cliff, a Debt Ceiling Showdown Now Looms
Fiscal cliff debate roaring through Washington
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 27, 2012 7:58 AM CST
Updated Nov 27, 2012 8:00 AM CST
President Barack Obama pauses as he hosts a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy, Nov. 16, 2012, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Wrangling at the edge of the fiscal cliff is the main event in Washington right now, and the stakes might be even higher than most people realize. At President Obama's first meeting with John Boehner, he asked him to raise the debt ceiling before the end of the year, sources tell Politico. Boehner's reply: "There is a price for everything." Another showdown over the debt ceiling could put the US at risk of another credit downgrade. In other fiscal cliff news:

  • A rift is brewing between Senate and House Republicans, with the former favoring a swift lame duck compromise, and the latter hoping to hold out for sweeping entitlement reforms they won't get in a few weeks, the Hill reports. "After having been pounded on Medicare, they're saying, 'We're not backing off,'" one analyst says.
  • Many Democrats, meanwhile, are digging in their heels against entitlement reform, the New York Times reports, with prominent liberal Sens. Tom Harkin and Jay Rockefeller coming out against it in recent days. Influential groups like the AARP are also pressing against the idea.
  • Indeed, so many groups and activists are weighing in that it's beginning to feel like campaign season again, the Washington Post observes. Union groups even aired ads in key states during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade urging against entitlement cuts.
  • What's more, Obama is hitting the road, CNN notes. On Friday, he'll head to Pennsylvania to tour a manufacturing facility and give a speech making his case.
  • On the tax side, Republicans have shown a willingness to talk about "revenue," but that word means different things to each party, NPR points out. To Democrats, it means letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans; to Republicans, it means finding a way to raise money without angering Grover Norquist.

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
cornelison
Nov 27, 2012 5:47 PM CST
There is NO "cliff." Using that language is designed for enriching ratings on cable news. The rich WILL be taxed at Clinton levels. When the rich pay lower taxes it does NOT create jobs. It creates recessions and losing the middle class. As long as Republicans control The House & The Senate, nothing will get done. Conservative voters are initially to blame.
OuttaHere
Nov 27, 2012 5:01 PM CST
This is a losing proposition for the Republicans. Boehner, you are the Speaker of the House. You control the purse strings. Stop posturing, raise the debt ceiling, roll-up your sleeves, really overhaul the tax code and get some more revenue in the coffers from businesses, corporations, the military, the rich and everyone else.
AustinSpace
Nov 27, 2012 12:51 PM CST
It's not a showdown. This isn't Western shootout. These are a bunch of old country-club farts. It's a fraternity of pot-bellied old guys who can't do a push-up bitching about their piles of money not being large enough. Don't try to make these marshmallows sound like tough-guys.