Only six days remain now until the U.S. falls over the fiscal cliff. Even with time dwindling, President Obama and our lawmakers in Congress went off for Christmas vacation. The president will leave Hawaii very late tonight to come back to D.C. For an update on the House and Senate, “Early Start” hears from Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, a Republican from New York and a member of the Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Hayworth discusses the hopes of reaching a compromise within the Republican party with so little time left to work out a deal. "The common link that we all have is that we wanna see 23 million unemployed or under-employed Americans go back to work," she says. "And the only way to do that is to provide relief for our employers, small ones, big ones."
Rep. Hayworth says the onus is now on the Senate, which returns to work tomorrow. “We have to wait on the Senate at this point,” she says, “and that’s our challenge.”
House Speaker John Boehner's “Plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff failed to garner enough support from Republican leadership yesterday. The proposal would have extended Bush era tax cuts for Americans that make less than one million dollars. But the vote was ultimately postponed. Then the House went into recess for Christmas, and went home. Congressman Joseph Crowley is a Democrat from New York. He joins “Early Start” live from Washington this morning with the latest.
Only 11 days remain until the United States falls over the fiscal cliff, but a deal is still pending. House Speaker John Boehner's “Plan B” failed to garner enough support from Republican leadership yesterday. The proposal would have extended Bush era tax cuts for those making less than one million dollars, but a vote on it never happened. Rep. Michael Burgess is a Republican from Texas. He's also a medical doctor who's the Chairman of the Congressional Health Care Caucus. Rep. Burgess joins us live from Washington this morning with more.
Rep. Burgess reflects on the epic opposition Speaker Boehner faced from his own party when he tried to get the House to vote on his Plan B legislation. “It was unlike anything I have seen in my brief ten years here in the nation’s capital,” he says. He says he expected a last minute conference to whip people into shape, "but this was not that."
Rep. Burgess also believes the outcome is “clearly what the president wanted.” “The president has wanted the tax increases that are going to start on January first. He’s wanted the cuts into defense that are going to kick in with the sequester,” Rep. Burgess says. “I really believe this is what the White House has wanted all along.” Rep. Burgess thinks the president has barely engaged in the fiscal cliff talks in Congress. “The president has a lot of power, and unfortunately in this case, it was only between him and the speaker.”
Just 25 days away from the looming fiscal cliff, all eyes are on talks in Washington. The New York Times is reporting private negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama. And the latest shakeup in politics is the resignation of Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Who will fill his seat?
Ryan Lizza is a CNN Contributor and Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker. Lizza comes to the studio this morning with his take.
The country is only 27 days away from tumbling over the fiscal cliff. Yet, neither side is budging to come closer to a deal. CNN Contributor John Avlon says that most politicians don't want to go over the cliff, but some partisans might derail the discussions on both sides. In a recently published CNN opinion piece, Avlons calls members of Congress the "Cliff-Deniers". He writes:
There is danger ahead—a growing chorus of ideological activists on both sides who insist there is no reason to fear going over the fiscal cliff, if the cliff exists at all. Call them The Cliff-Deniers. Listening to all-or-nothing advocates got us into this mess in the first place, leading directly to the loss of America's AAA credit rating. Listening to them again would be the definition of insanity.
The Author of "Deadline Artists – Scandals, Tragedies & Triumphs: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns", Avlon comes to the studio with his take on the stalemate in Washington.
"Right now, we are in the stage of public positional bargaining, and both sides making opening bids that the other side immediately dismisses as not serious, but of course this is serious," Avlon says. "This is a self inflicted crisis. And Washington is playing chicken with the fiscal cliff."
If Congress does not reach a deal averting the proverbial fiscal cliff by the January 1 deadline, massive spending cuts and tax increases are set to go in effect. Almost 90% of Americans will pay more in taxes starting next year. That includes small business owners. But small businesses are at the heart of America's economic recovery, and hurting them could hurt the economy as a whole. CNN’s Poppy Harlow talks with two small business owners in Freehold, New Jersey to get their take. Like all Americans, they want answers from Washington.
Bob Bellagamba, the CEO of Concord Worldwide, a limousine company, calls debt a cancer. His message for Congressional leaders is to walk a mile in his shoes. The uncertainty of no deal is making it difficult to run his company. “I'd love for them to come here and just spend a day, spend a week, just to know what a small business goes through,” he says.
Charles Altiero, the owner of Freehold Jewelers, says there are days now that he goes home without a paycheck. He just wants Congress to get to work and make a deal. “Do your job,” he says. “Make a decision.”
Just 33 days remain until the United States falls off the fiscal cliff. As politicians in Washington continue to hash out their plans to prevent it, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner heads to Capitol Hill for separate meetings with Congressional leaders today. Both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner made optimistic predictions yesterday, but it still remains to be seen how much each side is willing to give to reach a compromise. Erick Erickson, a CNN Contributor and the Editor-in-Chief of RedState.com, offers his view live on “Early Start” this morning.
Erickson says Congress should not rush to reach a deal before the January 1 deadline. "I think it’s really foolish for anybody out there to think that Congress is going to be able to come to some sort of resolution," he says. "Congress is the one that designed the fiscal cliff.” He says Congress is now "scrambling" for a deal and new members are coming in after the election, "so, why not wait until the first of the year?" Erickson suggests. "Move the marker."
Congress is back in session today for an abbreviated, pre-election period. The issues at hand are taxes and spending cuts, but mostly preventing a government shutdown later this month. CNN’s Athena Jones talks to John Berman on “Early Start” this morning with the latest developments from Washington.
“We’re all expecting them to pass what’s called a continuing resolution,” Jones says. “It’s a short term measure to fund the government. They’ve got to pass that by the end of this month.” Jones says, “It’s got to get to the president’s desk in order to keep everything running and avoid a shut down.”
Jones says the House of Representatives is expected to vote on that on Thursday, the Senate by next week. “That’s about the only must pass bit of legislation,” she says. Other bills, “are things that they may do or could do.”
A according to the latest WSJ/NBC poll, 82% disapprove of Congress. “Part of that probably has to do with the fact that there’s been so much haggling and so much division and not a lot of getting things done,” Jones says.
As for the fiscal cliff issue, “It’s really anybody’s guess as to what’s going to happen,” Jones says, “because the divisions are still strong and still remain.”
Christine Romans on how new federal student loan interest rates could spike if Congress doesn't act by Sunday.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - When it comes to handling the economy, neither Obama nor Congress make the grade.
CNNMoney asked 20 economists to give the Obama administration and the current Congress a letter grade for their performance on the economy. And none of those surveyed gave either one an A.
While both received overall averages of D, Obama did a little better than Congress, scoring three B's and only one F.
This morning on "Early Start," Christine Romans explains why economists felt Congress and the White House should receive the bad grade.