Governors push for common ground on 'fiscal cliff' at White House meeting
December 4th, 2012
01:15 PM ET
9 years ago

Governors push for common ground on 'fiscal cliff' at White House meeting

(CNN) - A bipartisan group of governors met with President Barack Obama Tuesday as the White House and congressional Republicans scramble to reach a deal on debt and deficit negotiations to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff.

Speaking outside the White House, the group of three Democratic and three Republican governors characterized the meeting as "positive" while pushing the White House to come to an agreement with Congressional Republicans as their own states' well-being hang in the balance of the contentious negotiations.

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The governors will also meet with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid later Tuesday.

"We came, in part, to make sure the voices and the issues that we face as governors in the states are heard and are considered as part of the discussions here in Washington," said Jack Markell, chairman of the National Governors Association and governor of Delaware. He was flanked by Democratic Govs. Mark Dayton of Minnesota and Mike Beebe of Arkansas, in addition to Republican Govs. Gary Herbert of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.

"There's an impact here not just on the fiscal issues but how the actions here will actually impact the economy back home as well," Markell said. "We agreed today we would focus on what we have in common, which frankly is a lot."

Washington, meanwhile, is at a standstill on budget negotiations. While Republicans have proposed cuts to spending and reforming the tax code to tame the nation's growing debt, Democrats and Obama's administration are advocating for allowing the Bush-era tax rates to increase on the top two percent of income earners in order to generate revenue.

The governors demurred when asked which side's plan they would endorse.

"You got to come together and get this done," Herbert said. "This impacts the economy, the uncertainty out there is creating havoc with the economy in our states."

The governors also said there was a discussion pushing for more flexibility in implementing federally mandated programs.

Upon Obama's re-election and as governors devise their budgets, states are tasked with either managing their own affordable insurance exchanges, subsidizing insurance for lower-income consumers, or allowing the federal government to manage the exchange for them as a part of the Affordable Care Act.

While Obama's re-election marked the continued implementation of the administration's 2010 health care initiative, Boehner has said that he sees portions of the Affordable Care Act up for bargaining as a part of the dealings to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Ex-GOP Con

    Shouldn't these governors be pushing their Reps and Senators instead to work with the White House? Nothing is to be gained by raising taxes on the middle class. The middle class are the concumers who drive demand, the economy, and subsequently JOBS! A rich 1% buying a $1,000 loafer contributes less to the economy than 100 workers who buy $10 work boots.

    December 4, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    All this sounds like is that some of these governors want to postpone the implementation of the ACA. If Congress feels suicidal, then jump off the cliff and let taxes rise on everyone. I wonder how the defense contractors are going to react when the defense budget is slashed dramatically. Republicans are going to have alot of explaining to do.

    December 4, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. freedom

    Good luck with that. This president has promoted a partisan warfare that's getting deeper by the minute, and then blames the republicans for it. How blind is everyone? And what about the "not the blue states, not the red states, but the..." BS!! And when are the president and Hilary Clinton going to be held accountable for the Benghazi lies and cover-up? This presidency is a hoax – and half the country knows it! Clint Eastwood is right on!

    December 4, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. California Gary

    The presence of Scott Walker in that group undercuts their credibility in my view. And you are correct Ex-GOP Con.....they should be applying pressure on congress to meet the president half-way........that's where the "blockage" is.

    December 4, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Governors for years have been Government funds like drunken sailors. For example, go to Phx, Az and as you drive along it's freeways you'll see pots built on it walls done by the Governors special friends to the tune of millions, they claim that lottery money goes towards build highways but where the money goes certainly isn't in highways because they ask the Government for money to build highways. Americas tax dollars having been going underground to the wealthiest and they don't want to pay their fair share of our money.

    December 4, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. rs

    Good luck governors! The only Republicans worse than those in Congress like Boehner and McConnell are the truly scary ones infesting state legislatures across our great land. You can predict their response to this-just another great opportunity to hurt America some more!

    December 4, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. rs

    Everyone apparently is less blind than you. 65% of Americans already blame the GOP for failing to negotiate.

    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Johnny True

    Raising taxes on people that make over $ 250K per year makes sense to me, as an issue of
    affordability. If the working middle class can absorb a $ 2K increase, and the Republicans
    are ok with line of thinking, noting that it's a much larger financial sacrifice for people/families
    making much less than 150K per year. What's the real issue here ?

    Who is working in the best interests of the working middle class ?

    Vote these Republicans out of office , may Boehner, Cantor, Graham, and a host
    of other Republicans and Tea Party provacators join the ranks of the unemployed with no health benefits.

    December 4, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. w l jones

    Our super computer will tell congress everything they need to know how get our national financal house in order in thirty second.

    December 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yeah I'm sure they are pushing for "common ground" now.
    Re-elections are pesky little things that have a way of bringing out the very best in the very worst.

    December 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |