The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

December 24, 2012

Lawmakers see 'fiscal cliff' deal as elusive

(Continued)

"There are 535 of us that can provide leadership. There are 435 in the House, 100 in the Senate and there is the president, all of us have a responsibility here," he said. "And, you know what is happening? What is happening is the same old tired blame game. He said/she said. I think the American people are tired of it. What they want to hear is 'What is the solution?'"

President Barack Obama and Congress are on a short holiday break. Congress is expected to be back at work Thursday and Obama will be back in the White House after a few days in Hawaii.

"It is time to get back to the table," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., "And I hope if anyone sees these representatives from the House in line shopping or getting their Christmas turkey, they wish them a merry Christmas, they're civil, and then say 'go back to the table, not your own table, the table in Washington.'"

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said he expects something will be passed, but nothing that will solve the nation's growing financial problems.

"I think there's unfortunately only going to be a small deal," he said, but added "it's critical we get to the big deal."

Obama already has scaled back his ambitions for a sweeping budget bargain. Before leaving the capital on Friday, he called for a limited measure that extends George W. Bush-era tax cuts for most people and stave off federal spending cuts. The president also urged Congress to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that would otherwise be cut off for 2 million people at the end of the year.

The failure of Boehner's option in the House has shifted the focus.

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