Does Washington want to go over 'fiscal cliff'?
Lawmakers weighing political risks
- Duration 3:32
- Date Dec 28, 2012
Lawmakers weighing political risks
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
For more on this let's bring in the editor of campaigns and elections magazine -- the April -- on campaigns and elections might be appropriate here because some say there's a lot of political posturing going not.
You have said that that the feeling in Washington is that it might actually need better.
To go over the cliff and then come back and negotiate why.
Yet now this is of course -- purely political campaign calculation here at tossing aside.
The nation's fiscal health frankly.
But for both sides I think there's a good argument to be made that that for congressional leaders -- democratic leaders and Republican leaders in particular.
There may be less political risk here.
Actually if we do you go over the cliff and figure out a a solution.
Very quickly afterwards.
If you go back to what happened with plan B.
You know speaker Boehner could not get through get back through his caucus.
In the house simply because you have many Republican members sitting in very conservative districts who would absolutely not vote for any thing.
That could put them at risk of a primary challenge in a year from now on and frankly -- four a lot of those members voting for plan B probably would have.
So there is a -- campaign calculation that's going on here and I think that on the part of both Democrats and Republicans there is this overall feeling that they might be able to get a better deal for themselves politically in a campaign context.
If we go over the -- and and figure out a solution and get more interesting because you heard Ed Henry's report just now and in which he talked about how senate majority leader Reid.
Was describing John Boehner as a dictator it sounds like anything but if he can't.
Corral the votes in his caucus.
You don't and it's not -- speaker Boehner but there's also a question of whether -- senate majority leader Harry Reid would be able to get his caucus on board with some sort of you know bigger bipartisan deal.
It's unlikely that that would be able to -- -- IE their -- it's not just the House Republican Caucus that say you know showing some signs of difficulty for the error aid for the speaker.
It's also the senate Democratic Caucus.
I think Harry Reid would have some trouble there if you were looking for a larger more overarching compromise that gives Republicans some of what they want in terms of entitlement that they cots.
-- other spending cuts the so everybody's taxes are scheduled to go off on January 1.
And it doesn't look like there's going to be anything happening to avert that does that give Republicans even the most conservative Republicans.
An opportunity to go let go in and vote for some kind of package that cuts taxes.
From the post -- January 1 levels.
And air force say yeah I did not vote to increase taxes.
What exactly mean there is a political argument to be made and again thinking in campaign context for.
For Republican members of house that if indeed we go over the cliff.
And you do you didn't come back in and do something that essentially you know votes it.
-- cut those tax rates for Al large portion of Americans Republicans can make the argument that we did not.
-- vote to increase taxes we didn't take that vote before the beginning of the year.
We went over the cliff and found a better solution perhaps afterwards so indeed I think that's the campaign calculation that some are gonna make.
But then again the White House and then the senator controlled by Democrats and and they don't seem to put -- which put forward -- plan either -- What a mess all right -- April from campaigns and elections magazine -- thank you.