Fiscal cliff talks go to the brink, as lawmakers are optimistic for a deal; yet Republicans lack any incentive to deal; Huntsman: “GOP devoid of a soul.”; Hillary Clinton hospitalized; Turner, Smith, dismissed from Chargers
Congress remained in session over the weekend as Republican and Democratic leaders met throughout in an effort to stave off the looming slip over the edge of the fiscal cliff (or curb or slope). If a deal is not struck by midnight tonight (New Year’s Eve), all of the Bush tax cuts will expire—not just for the top 2% of earners—and hundreds of billions in draconian budget cuts will be automatically enacted.
The current fiscal cliff deal is the result of negotiations a year ago between the White House and the Gang of 12 SuperCongress, a group made of six legislators from each party, and from both chambers of Congress. The sequestration deal (or fiscal cliff/curb/slope) was put into place as a sort of poison pill; an incentive for the SuperCongress to actually come to a deal.
It didn’t work. Republicans never had any intention of negotiating in good faith, and here we are today. [Read more…]