Lame Duck Congress Done Playing Chicken
There's talk of compromise to ensure that taxes don't go up for all Americans in less than a month, but both sides face some hard bargaining on important bills.
With time running out for the lame duck Congress, Republicans and Democrats are softening their hard lines on extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
Senate Republicans rejected two different bills on Saturday, insisting that the tax cuts remain in place for everyone - not just the middle class.
Without action, taxes go up for everyone on January 1st, but Republicans say that's not going to happen.
"I don't think we can”, said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “I think that would be disastrous."
Democrats wanted to raise taxes only on the rich.
"I would be willing to go along with a one year extension so we can protect the middle class", said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
President Obama says he'll sit down with Republicans this week and come up with a plan.
"We've had more conversations in the last two weeks than we've had in the last two years”, recalled Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “And I think that's a good sign, growing awareness that the power is going to be more symmetrical in the next Congress."
Translation: Democrats are going to have to relearn the art of the deal if they want to get anything done.