Posted by Greg Sargent on December 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm
President Obama, during a brief statement to the press just now, said Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are in the process of working out a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes, and pronounced himself optimistic about the talks. The key to Obama’s statement, though, is that he spelled out the political reality Republican leaders will be left facing if a deal is not reached:
Senators Reid and McConnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. I believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities, as long as those leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. If members of the House and Senate want to vote No, they can.
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