Why your lawmaker may not be at your holiday party
December 13th, 2012
01:40 PM ET
10 years ago

Why your lawmaker may not be at your holiday party

(CNN) - With President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner giving no signs that a solution to avert the so-called fiscal cliff is imminent, legislators are being warned to stick around Washington.

They may even be asked to do something drastic: work through the weekend.

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- Related: Obama, Boehner to meet at White House

"Members are advised that due to the ongoing negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff a weekend session is possible and therefore last votes for [next] week are not yet known," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday.

Translation: a work week next week could bleed into the weekend before Christmas, a week after the date originally scheduled for final votes (this Friday).

The work which could prevent lawmakers from spending much time at home this month is the looming tax increases and spending cuts ahead in the new year, should Congress not approve an alternate deficit reduction plan. The cuts, known as the sequester, were designed by lawmakers and the White House as an incentive to reach a solution, but instead have led to a series of offers proposed and subsequently rejected by Obama and Boehner. Each has accused the other of not being serious in seeking a resolution.

Asked Thursday if he was optimistic about a deal to avert the cliff, Obama replied, "Still a work in progress."

He was walking to a holiday party near the White House shortly after Boehner spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

"I've been pushing all year for us to address this problem, but here we are at the 11th hour and the president still isn't serious about dealing with this issue right here," he said, pointing at a chart designed to illustrate that the tax hike Obama supports is minor compared to projected spending increases over time. "It's this issue: spending."

The speaker will spend this weekend at home in Ohio, an aide told CNN, but did not rule out Boehner and Obama speaking this weekend, or even an early return to DC.

"There are cell phones and airports in Ohio," the aide said.

The two most recently spoke on Tuesday and met in person on Sunday.

Asked about hypothetical possible solutions, Boehner replied: "Ifs and ands and buts are like candy and nuts. If that were the case everyday would be Christmas.

"My goal is to get to an agreement with the president of the United States that addresses this problem."

- CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report

Filed under: Capitol Hill • Congress • House • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. brendabankert

    I firmly believe that all people should pay the same tax and if my taxes go up as a result of it, so be it. I hope Boehner does NOT give in. (and I sure as heck didn't vote for OBAMA!)

    December 13, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Mitt Robme_DRAFT_DODGING, TAX_EVADING_Merchandise Discounted AT 47%

    These IDIOTS in Washington NEVER HAD A REAL JOB!!!...........they just go on vacation while living off of tax payers estacode, free lunch & free socialist govt. healthcare!!

    I would like to see all of them SIT their behind down and actually get to work or better yet FIRE ALL OF THESE DO-NOTHING CONGRESSMEN and start ALL OVER!!!!

    NO WORK, NO PAY, NO VACATION, NO XMAS HOLIDAYS. PERIOD!...how about that for a start?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. SA

    I don't blame the Congressmen. I blame the individuals that send them to Washington.

    December 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. brendabankert

    Let them keep working...we work evenings and weekends and have to actually PAY for our benefits. I vote that the repubs don't give in – equal taxes for all. If you work hard, there is no reason why the government should take more – take it from their pocket since they work less than the rest of us!

    December 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. DENNA

    Wow. It must be a pain in the Norbutt to have to work with the President. The American public is sick of you and we don't care if you get home for Christmas, GOP. You have taken the past four years off, so now we expect you to work.

    December 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair


    I don't understand how people believe Republicans anymore. President ran on letting the tax breaks expire for the top percent
    He sure as hell couldn't run on his record.

    December 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Mitt Robme_DRAFT_DODGING, TAX_EVADING_Merchandise Discounted AT 47%

    Hey John Boehner, you want specific SPENDING CUTS? CUT THIS!...CUT the DEFENSE BUDGET & All congressmen free socialist HEALTHCARE, ESTACODES & SALARIES!

    How about that for a start?

    December 13, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. FactCheck

    Congress worked 2 days this week. Wrap your head around that. Off the cliff we go.

    December 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Davxid

    A "Balaned" solution is raise income to match cuts-that it all else is BS!

    December 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. FactCheck

    Obama has doubled the national debt in less than 3 years, has projected deficits of over $1 Trillion per year, drowned businesses in new regulations, and this is a problem the Republicans have created ??

    Exactly, darn that Obama and his 2 unfunded wars, his Bush tax cuts and his extension of Medicare... oh wait.

    December 13, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. JeanneLH

    Oh, BFD, if they had worked in the past 4 years (instead of stonewalling Obama) we wouldn't be in this situation. The economy is slowly makeing headway and think of where we would be if they had COOPERATED?

    December 13, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Hillcrester

    McCain and Graham will pay dearly for Susan Rice's forced withdrawal from consideration for Sec of State. I hope when Obama is through with them they will wish they had never heard of the US Senate.

    December 13, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Guest

    Thats funny as hell, Boehner had to include pictures for the liberals, perhaps Sniffit will understand now.... unlikely though.

    December 13, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Max

    Is that a pig whistling I hear?

    December 13, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Roger

    Republican's would try to have us believe that the tax rates of Reagan and Eisenhower's time are socialist! What a bunch of baloney! Do some homework guys. Nearly 2 out of 3 American's think the rich should pay more. Listen to the people already GOP.....

    December 13, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Mark Yelka

    "Work"... is that what they do? I hardly think so most of the time. Work = Mass x Distance. I suppose they blow hot air around. Not much mass x they don't get very far. Not much work. Even when they work weekends (like most of us do who really work hard), it is still not much work.

    December 13, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Mark Yelka

    Work equals mass times distance. Our representatives move hot air around the hallways, so with hot air being as light as it is, there is not a lot of mass, so they're not doing a lot of work.

    December 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Bob

    I didn't know that Congressmen doing the job they were hired to do is newsworthy. Public service isn't supposed to be a cushy job.

    December 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. lolo

    Good, they need to be working. All I see them doing is hobnobbing with the lobbyist, going to parties. They had better focus on th people's will or in 2014 there will be a lot of unhappy GOP Lawmakers. Whoever voted the tea party clowns into office need to be whipped with wet noodles.

    December 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Mark Yelka

    Work equals mass times distance. Mass, in this case, is hot air that is very light. So, they're not doing a lot of work.

    December 13, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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