A Showdown Long Foreseen

Congressional Memo

A Showdown Long Foreseen

By Published: December 30, 2012

WASHINGTON — The titanic struggle over how to reach a broad Congressional tax agreement is not just the latest partisan showdown, but rather the culmination of two years of escalating fiscal confrontations, each building on the other in its gravity and consequences. On Sunday, lawmakers could not seem to find one final way out.

 
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From the first fight over a short-term spending agreement to keep the government open in early 2011 to the later tangle over the debt ceiling to the failure of last year’s special budget committee and the resulting automatic spending cuts that now loom along with tax increases, the so-called fiscal cliff was built, slab by partisan slab, to where it now threatens the nation’s finances.

“Something has gone terribly wrong,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, “when the biggest threat to our American economy is the American Congress.” Continue reading “A Showdown Long Foreseen”

Senators vow to avert sequestration cuts Sep. 26, 2012 – 05:40PM |

Senators vow to avert sequestration cuts

Sep. 26, 2012 – 05:40PM |
By SEAN REILLY |
 Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., left, and ranking member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speak during a hearing in February.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., left, and ranking member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speak during a hearing in February. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Six senators are vowing to work across party lines to head off stiff automatic budgets cuts set to take effect in January.

“We are committed to working together to help forge a balanced, bipartisan deficit reduction package to avoid damage to our national security, important domestic priorities, and our economy,” Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., John McCain, R-Ariz. and four other lawmakers wrote in a Sept. 21 letter to Senate leaders. “All ideas should be put on the table and considered.”

The letter was made public this week. Continue reading “Senators vow to avert sequestration cuts Sep. 26, 2012 – 05:40PM |”