A Fiscal Cliff Hiccup That Virtually Nobody Is Talking About

Harry Reid

Photo: AP

Most of the analysis on the Fiscal cliff is done through the lens of the Debt Ceiling fight.In other words, the way they see it, it mostly comes down to Obama having to reach a deal with intransigent House Republicans.

It’s for this reason that some folks are growing optimistic. As POLITICO’s Ben White argues, Republicans are acknowledging that they lost the election, and will cave on tax hikes for the rich. And there might be something too this.

But while The Republicans control the House, Democrats control the Senate, and not many people are talking about the possibility that Democrats (wary of giving up anything on entitlements) might be the side that torpedoes the eventual deal.

Already there are signs of tough play from the Reid camp. The Hill, for example, reports that Reid wants to do more in the Lame Duck session, rather than just do a pure punt, which is what’s favoured by Boehner.

On Bloomberg TV this morning, an aide to former Senator Pete Domenici also thought Republicans would cave on taxes, but that Democrats might need more cajoling to make entitlement tweaks.

It seems pretty clear that if they were alone in a room, Obama and Boehnr could cut a deal tomorrow. Obama probably wants to cut entitlements, as part of a plan to burnish his legacy. But whether Reid and Pelosi will let seniors get hit on behalf of Obama’s legacy remains unclear.

SEE ALSO: BEN WHITE: The Fiscal Cliff Is Over >

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