The back-and-forth between Washington Democrats and Republicans over the past few days suggests the partisan rancor that largely defined the last Congress – and most specifically the fiscal talks – will continue when lawmakers resume talks later this month on the debt ceiling.
While President Obama and Republican leaders have made public statements about whether spending cuts will be part of negotiations on the debt ceiling, the sides battled face to face on the issue Sunday.
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan told “Fox News Sunday” that Democrats got the revenue increases they wanted before Congress adjourned but won’t come through on promised federal spending cuts when lawmakers try to address other fiscal problems before their deadlines hit over roughly the next eight weeks.
“There are no cuts in there,” Jordan said. “It’s the same old, same old. … These are promises from politicians.”
Much of the debate has focused on Obama saying cuts would not be part of the debt ceiling debate, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the president must include discussions on spending cuts during the debates.
Congress agreed January 1 to extend Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $450,000 annually. However, the new Congress must address three major fiscal issues before late March – the debt ceiling by early March, massive across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration by March 1 and reaching a budget resolution by March 27.
“I wish the president would lead us rather than being dragged to the table” on the debt ceiling issue, McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”