SEN. HARRY REID (D-NEVADA): We have been negotiating now for 36 hours or thereabouts. We did have conversations last night that ended late in the evening between staffs. This morning, we have been trying to come up with some counteroffer to my friend’s proposal. We have been unable to do that.
I have had a number of conversations with the president, and at this stage we’re not able to make a counteroffer. The Republican leader has told me that — and he’s just said here — that he’s working with the vice president, and he and the vice president, I wish them well.
In the meantime, I will continue to try to come up with something. But at this stage, I don’t have a counteroffer to make. Perhaps as the day wears on, I will be able to. I will say this, I think that the Republican leader has shown absolutely good faith. It’s just that we are apart on some pretty big issues.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s appearance on Meet the Press this morning.
“Americans elected President Obama to lead, not cast blame. The president’s comments today are ironic, as a recurring theme of our negotiations was his unwillingness to agree to anything that would require him to stand up to his own party. Needed cuts and reforms that the president agreed to just last year were no longer on the table, as he cited an inability to sell them to Democrats.
“In an effort to get the president to agree to cut spending — which is the problem — I put revenues on the table last year, and I put them on the table again last month. Republicans made every effort to reach the ‘balanced’ deficit agreement that the president promised the American people, while the president has continued to insist on a package skewed dramatically in favor of higher taxes that would destroy jobs. We’ve been reasonable and responsible. The president is the one who has never been able to get to ‘yes.’
“The House has passed legislation to avert the entire fiscal cliff, and the president has never called for the Senate to act on those bills in any way. He instead has simply allowed the Democratic-controlled Senate to sit on them and lead our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff. I am pleased Senators from both parties are currently working to find a bipartisan solution that can finally pass that chamber. That is the type of leadership America needs, not what they saw from the president this morning.”
Schumer instead blamed House Republicans for resisting compromise on a final deal.
“There are 50 hard right people in the House who don’t want to compromise. They don’t believe in any revenues, they say compromise is a dirty word. And Speaker [John] Boehner just as recently as last week played their tune,” Schumer said. ”You cannot make a deal if you’re going to let the people who are hardest right and uncompromising dictate what we should do.”
But Kyl rejected Schumer’s suggestion that House Republicans are to blame for the failure to get a deal.
“If the Democrats and Mr. Obama in particular don’t get more seriously into that discussion, they have no standing to complain about the Republicans’ lack of balance,” Kyl said. “This is not just a problem with the House. The House passed legislation that would overt the fiscal cliff, both on the sequestration side and on the tax rate side. They’ve already acted.”
“In the short term, Republicans are blamed more than Democrats,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), the incoming chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, acknowledged. “I think in the long term, the political damage is to the president and to Democrats.”…
But while Baucus and Landrieu have to worry about 2014, there’s a camp of liberals who don’t want Reid to budge at all unless McConnell caves to virtually all Democratic demands. They argue their party could work its will in the new year and have a much stronger hand to rewrite the Tax Code. Liberal Democrats warn that their party base will be furious at a deal they believe gives away too much, either by not raising taxes enough or by caving on spending cuts.
“I just hope the president doesn’t think he has to give away all this stuff,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). “He’s in a much better position after the first of the year than he is now.”…
“We may get some disproportionate blame,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), “but there will be plenty to go around.”
Sen. Tom Coburn said Sunday there are some advantages to going off the so-called fiscal cliff.
“There are a lot of disadvantages. One of the advantages will be that the American people are going to see what the real cost of their government is — the actual real cost — for both the very wealthy. The very, very low will have minimal impact on them; it’s about $200 a year,” Coburn said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Let us pray. Mighty God, have mercy upon us. Because of your unfailing love, because of your great compassion, let us feel your presence today on Capitol Hill as we gather with so much work left undone. Guide our lawmakers with your wisdom. Lord, show them the right thing to do and give them the courage to do it. Be their shelter in the midst of the storm, regardless of how high the waters rise. When they feel exhausted, remind them of the great sufficiency of your grace. Look with favor on our nation and save us from self-inflicted wounds. We pray in your strong name. Amen.
Via the Daily Caller.