Everything's on the table - and the line - during fiscal cliff negotiations
November 25th, 2012
10:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Everything's on the table - and the line - during fiscal cliff negotiations

(CNN) – Lawmakers from both the House and Senate said Sunday all options must be considered during fiscal cliff negotiations, as both parties work to try to avoid an economic crisis.

One of the biggest holdups so far during negotiations has been whether or not Republicans will accept tax increases, something President Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders have been pushing for. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said it's a position the GOP needs to give up.

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'The key here is whether or not the Republicans with move away from the ideologically rigid position, which has been the Grover Norquist pledge that most of them signed, that they will not go for additional revenues," Levin said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press."

Responding to the charge, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Republicans do have to be open-minded when it comes to negotiations.

"I think everything should be on the table. I myself am opposed to tax increases. The fact is the speaker and the majority leader and the president are going to be in a room trying to find the best package. I'm not going to prejudge it. I'm just saying we should not be taking iron-clad positions," King said on "Meet The Press."

But taxes are far from the only issue. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said on "Fox News Sunday" that entitlement reform has to be a big part of these negotiations.

"Entitlement reform is the only way we are going to really get the debt and deficit under control, and we've got to take it on," McCain said.

King said it's important to get a deal done before the end of the year, not just to avoid the crisis, but to allow lawmakers to work on new issues at the start of a new term.

"Let's find a way to get as much resolved as possible between now and the end of the year, so both the new Congress and the president in his second term can start over with a clean slate," King said.
To do this, King said, it's time for lawmakers to grow up.

"The bottom line is, we can't have sequestration. We can't go off a fiscal cliff. We have to show the world we're adults. The election is over," King said.

Filed under: Carl Levin • Fiscal Cliff • Peter King
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. vic , nashville ,tn

    Raise tax for rich, cut defense budget, cut foreign aide (Pakistan has nuclear weapon they don’t need any aide)

    November 25, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. don in albuquerque

    End the tax cuts, and cut (dramatically) the pentagon. I think a lot of the baggers are going to be finding their way out the door in 2014. They richly deserve it.

    November 25, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    John McCain is wrong again (as usual). Entitlement reform isn't the ONLY way to solve the deficit, in fact, it just goes to prove the GOP policy of wanting to place the burden on the middle class. If the defense budget and tax increases aren't on the table, then the GOP isn't serious (as usual) about debt reduction, and their primary concern is simply protecting the mega-rich. Class warfare at its worst.

    November 25, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. NFL1

    Hear Hear, the deficit has ballooned from two unfunded wars and huge tax cuts for the rich over 8 years...we needed the stimulus to bring us back from the brink of depression. Entitlements are misnamed – we have PAID into these over many years of WORKING...leave our BENEFITS alone. Cutting politician lifetime benefits should be #2 on the table behind tax increases for the top 2%...all politicians should live with the exact same benefits that we Americans have to choose from!

    November 25, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Taxes are at their lowest point in over 60 years. The real moochers are the right-wingers who want something for nothing.

    November 25, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Norquicist

    What does Norquist do for living, btw? Ask him to get a life.

    November 25, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |

    Democrats will have to show a 4 for 1 entitlement cut

    November 25, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Not really. Obama doesn't negotiate on anything. If he doesn't get his way, then sequestration happens. Bottom line.

    November 25, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. J'Cincinnati'redd

    Socialism is a conflict philosophy that believes in a system in which one persom can gain only at the expense of another.our country is in decline their is no easy or painless solution to our nation's economic plight.we have to end entitlements as we we them.with sacrifice and change means big cuts in the sacrosanct social security program while guaranteeing all non-Wealthy beneficiaries that their payment will not be reduced below their present level.then we have to end welfare or shrink it until it close to nothing.the fruits of goverment welfare policy are unemployment and poverty. Its time we all face reality.

    November 25, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Fairness

    The "rich" pay a larger share of the tax pie than at almost any point in history. That in itself is merely an observation. But they also pay a far greater share than their share of the total earnings. That is by definition unfair. All these "fairness" advocates should stop feeling and start thinking. Until then, my money will be run through the Caymans where it is safe from the envious and parasidic masses who wouldnt know justice or fairness from totalitarianism.

    November 25, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Facts don't Lie

    Maybe if they would listen to the polling of the American people who are basically saying raise taxes on the upper 2% and do less cutting of Medicare and Social Security they would know what to do. I find it strange that the Tea Party folks would be against the wealthy paying a bit more, the ones that can actually afford to, unless most of the TP members are in the 1% themselves;

    November 25, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. DJESQ

    You Own It !
    We BORROW $4 Billion EVERY DAY !
    Sometime in 2024 we shall be bankrupt ! The streets will be chaos, like modern day Greece.
    As an Independent, I say, "a pox on both your houses."
    Still you voted for BO ! … You are dummies, all.
    Your grandkids will be fiscally enslaved.
    You Own It !

    November 25, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Facts don't Lie

    @ Rick McDaniel

    if I recall correctly it was the Speaker of the House that boasted he got "98% of everything he wanted" so I guess Obama really isn't a great negotiator. You need to leave your right wing bubble once and a while and see what the real world is all about.

    November 25, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Mike in Texas

    Rick McDaniel

    Not really. Obama doesn't negotiate on anything. If he doesn't get his way, then sequestration happens. Bottom line.
    Obama wanted a single payer system for health care but the Republicans balked. Instead Obama went with their mandate and still they Republicans said no.

    Obama and Boehner had a deal with more spending cuts than tax increases but the Tea Party said no so no deal even though the Republicans were getting the upper hand on the deal.

    Obama allowed the Bush tax cuts to be extended for all in order to provided extended unemployment benefits. He had to because of the Republicans.

    So please quit your Obama is 100 wrong garbage. It just shows how ignorant and petty you are.

    Bottom line......you are wrong.

    November 25, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |

    Obama offered them the moon in 2011. They REFUSED to budge. Not ten cents more from a rich person. Not ten cents more from a MEGA profitable corporation. What they were okay with is an elederly person paying THOUSANDS extra per year. NO, NOT THIS TIME. YOU TEA SLAGS BLEW IT.

    November 25, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. labman57

    So Congressional Republicans have declared that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for incomes in excess of $250K is "off the table", eliminating tax deductions which disproportionately benefit struggling middle class families is acceptable, and yet cutting major programs - such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security - that benefit the poor and the elderly must be "on the table".

    Boehner, McConnell, and most of their fellow intransigent conservative members of Congress exist in a political bubble where the concerns of most Americans never reach them and the only factors that influence their decision-making are the recommendations of corporate lobbyists and the echoes of their own reality-devoid rhetoric.

    November 25, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |