Gang of eight to meet again next week on avoiding fiscal cliff
November 9th, 2012
04:35 PM ET
1 year ago

Gang of eight to meet again next week on avoiding fiscal cliff

Washington (CNN) – The Senate's "gang of eight" negotiators will reconvene next week to try to "assess where they are" in reaching a bipartisan compromise on a long-term debt deal that could help avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, a Senate aide told CNN.

The gang last met about a month ago at Mount Vernon in Virginia after most other lawmakers had left town to campaign for re-election. Congress returns for its post-election lame duck session Tuesday.

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Staff for the eight senators involved in the talks have been "crunching through some issues since Mt. Vernon" and "members will have to figure out the path forward once everybody returns," the aide said.

After the Mt. Vernon talks, which lasted multiple days, other aides indicated the senators had not made any breakthrough or any major progress on a deal.

Immediately after the election, top congressional leaders and President Obama began jockeying publicly about what they would or would not accept in a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Because of the direct involvement of the president and congressional leaders, it's not clear what role, if any, the gang of eight will play in reaching a final deal.

The Senate aide wouldn't say exactly where or when the group will meet, in keeping with efforts of the senator to keep out of the media spotlight.

The gang of eight includes Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia, Dick Durbin of Illinois, retiring Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republicans Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • House • Senate
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Tommy G

    Why are we trying to avoid paying for our government???? TAXES, WE NEED MORE TAXES. One TRILLION in taxes as a matter of fact. I don't want to see ANY spending cuts. I want to see all the temporary tax cuts expire and then taxes added to make up the one trillion we need to balance the budget.

    It is high time we actually pay for the government the Democrats demand we have.

    November 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Oh boy!!! Which Teatroll picked the shortest straw and has to damage his reputation by throwing a faux poutrage hissy fit and leaving the table while claiming that the Dems won't compromise? Let the disinformation theatrics commence!

    November 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. ST

    "The gang of eight"!! Is this the new "Super Committee"?. If yes, then we should expect zero work.

    November 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. becky

    Good luck! Let us all hope they find a good compromise on which both parties will agree. WE all know that Sen. McConnell and a few others will never want to do anything to help the President but perhaps even he will understand that he is doing this for the American people – all of the people.

    November 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Bill from GA

    Let's quit calling it a 'fiscal cliff'. Trying to scare everybody.

    So the tax rates go back to where they were when Clinton left office, and, BTW, we were PAYING DOWN OUR DEBT.

    Next year Congress and our President can start fresh on tax policy.

    Also, remember that it was the Bush Tax Cuts that created the situation where so many Americans pay no Federal Income Tax. Rush, Crazy Ann (coulter) and the like will pretend it was President Obama who started that, but that's another of their lies.

    November 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Uh Oh

    Is this gang of 8 headed to NY to loot and rob following the hurricane??? I will not let them steal my free stuff that Obama gave me!!!

    November 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. myviewis

    The majority have spoken and feel President Obama knows what he is doing and feel he will do as the majority want him to do which is get rid of the Bush-era tax cuts, raise taxes on all that make $250K and higher, raise taxes on all small businesses and frankly I think President Obama should do as the majority of people want him to do, which is one of reasons Obama was re-elected.

    November 9, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. betterdays

    As long as no one ever gets the bill, you can spend whatever you like doing whatever you wish. THAT is what decided Tuesday's election. Decade after decade of whistling past the graveyard while handing out temporary solutions that only exacerbate the problem in the long run have brought us to this, and people expect and demand that we continue to pour more and more money into what has always been a futile attempt to help misguided, unwise people with little or no foresight or sense of responsibility (war on poverty). Yes, I know that my "kind" is outnumbered; generations raised with "old-fashioned" values now the subject of mockery and derision. But we're not outclassed by our successors. Not by a longshot.

    Good luck fixing things with a measly few hundred billion extracted from the rich at gunpoint. I think we're beyond that now. When the system collapses, you'll get what you deserve. If you really want to see what "every man for himself" looks like, just keep spending like drunken sailors on social program that don't work, and you'll get there soon enough.

    November 9, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. John

    Have made plus 250K for more than 30 years...have 2 corps, one a LLC and one a C Corp,......every year about Dec. 1, I sit with accountant to determine whether to
    1) take bonus/extra income for the year
    2) take projected profits and re-invest in business (s) capital equip, other, or employees
    . 3)pay taxes on all income in the corporation and do not expand
    *2, of course, is by far the most stimulative and best for the economy...most would agree......what is interesting is that HIGHER PERSONAL TAX RATES make it more likely for me to choose *2!! i.e. net more beneficial to re-invest in the business than to take more income....increasing max rate from 35% to 39.6% wouldn't affect me....I would only take income up to the max rate change (250K) and re-invest the remainder in business, which should be what americans would want me to do
    Moral of the story.......Higher tax rates, as Obama has suggested may be fair, but they are also stimulative for business investment......his solution, using common sense, is much more logical than Boehner's.

    November 9, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Tommy G

    There is no "fiscal cliff" people. There is only the "fiscal reality" that Obama and the Democrats have created. Embarce it America. Pay for it America. Only when you accept and pay for the huge government that Obama and the Democrats want will you understand the true cost, to you, your children and the economy. Until then, you are only living in a fantasy country paid for by China and the future earnings of your children.

    November 9, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Guest

    If Obama would get off his social revenge against the rich our nation could move forward but he was mentored with hatred. Taxing the 2% may satisfy his ego but does almost nothing for the state of our economy. Time to move on and show you work our other elected leaders. I doubt it happens though, he is arrogant and self serving.

    November 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. anoel2005

    Obama has to pay back the left wing fringe of his party, now that they got him elected again. That will mean sticking to issues the wingnuts believe in like higher taxes, bigger govt. programs, and basically destroying capitalism.

    November 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Tommy G

    Right now I am perfectly happy with the fiscal situation we are in. Next year the economy will see $400-500 billion taken out of it in taxes from the expiration of all the temporary tax cuts and all of the Obamacare taxes coming into effect. Problem is we will STILL be $400-500 billion SHORT. We need to RAISE tax rates on everybody to pay for it. The rich don't have enough to pay it. It MUST be paid by everybody else.

    The economy will come down in a recession and settle at the point where it is true fiscal reality. The Democrats will be very happy because we will now have a large government and all the taxes to pay for it. It will be the end of the "government bubble" that we have created, the false unpaid for massive government.

    A lot of people may not like it, but it is what you have voted for by electing Democrats. If you want massive government then pay for it as you go and stop expecting future generations to pay for your partying today.

    November 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. 2012liberal

    YOUR WARS ARE NOT FREE! Time for the rich 2 pay for them.

    November 9, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. EJ

    Nothing more than a government paid golf game and party at a luxury resort.....

    November 9, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. rosethornne

    Enough with the gangs and committees. Or if there's going to be one, make it representative of the Senate: four Republicans, five Democrats, one Independent.

    November 9, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. James

    What a wast of time–His Majesty King Obama is making all the decisions so why bother–He just gave them lip service the last time. What would make it different now.

    November 9, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  18. Catmandew

    As a small bussiness owner I believe taxing small bussiness more will just close more of them down. Obamacare has created less growth as it is. So we should start by evaluating our leaders cost for each individual leader and get their cost and benefits in line with private enterprises then see how much that saves us. Then go thru all government programs and decide what we need to keep and trash the rest. This would be so much easier if the south had won!

    November 9, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Chris

    No wonder Tax Cheat Tim Giethner is leaving. HE does not want be around when the cliff falls 2008 the debt was 10trillion Obama ran up more debt than any President 6.2 trillion in 4 years

    November 9, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. enuff

    Who's going to wager on which republican storms out of the meeting, refusing to compromise, like they were instructed to do?

    November 10, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  21. some guy in New Hampshire

    God bless these volunteers who risk ostracism among their colleagues by actually holding sustained, serious conversations with members of the other party. What a concept.

    November 10, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. pwr65

    yeah tax the rich at 100%...oh but it will not get us there.....if taxes go up...they should go up on everyone. Everyone should have skin in the game......

    November 10, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  23. shelbyanne

    Throw the tax code in the trash. No more tax breaks for the rich. Let all the Bush tax beaks expire. Raise tax on the rich. Eliminate tax on the poor. Give the middle class big tax cuts and lots of tax breaks. Raise soc sec and medicare tax for income over 250k Then tax the rich some more. Have a special congress tax, congress pays extra. And a special republican tax, republicans pay double.

    November 10, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |