Insiders Rate Jobs, Immigration, Deficit As Top Priorities
Despite the storied paralysis in Washington, Democratic and Republican Insiders came to a rare moment of consensus this week on what priorities should top their parties' agendas this year.
What two issues should be the top priorities for your party this year?
Insiders of both parties agreed that immigration and jobs were the most important issues to tackle, with Republicans also throwing their weight behind deficit reduction.
The anemic economy was cause for concern for both Democratic and Republican Insiders.
"Jobs solve so many problems! Everyone wants a balanced budget, but they would prefer to be employed!" said one Democrat.
Another pointed to the political consequences for the party the status quo remained. "If the unemployment rate continues to hover around 8 percent, the midterm elections will be difficult for Democrats. Jobs, jobs, jobs."
A Republican Insider echoed the point: "Since when did 7.8 percent unemployment become the new normal?"
"Jobs would indicate we actually were awake," another Republican added.
Several also pointed to the urgency of getting immigration reform done. Republican Insiders saw it as a chance to make amends with a fast-growing voting bloc-one that the party has alienated in past election cycles.
"Do Republicans really want immigration used against them again in '14, '16, and beyond? Do comprehensive now and give a future candidate a chance to be heard by more than 47 percent of the electorate," one said.
"If we can be enlightened on immigration, we give ourselves some sort of future," another added.
Democrats, meanwhile, viewed immigration reform as a chance to make Hispanics a permanent part of their coalition.
"Democrats must lock in the image with the fast-growing Hispanic communities, as we have done for decades with African-Americans, that they can be at 'home' with our party," one said.
"Gotta get immigration done, at least to thank the Latinos who gave Obama his margin," another said.
Several Republicans also urged the GOP to keep up the pressure on deficit reduction.
"Controlling the 'size and scope of government' is key to the base, and immigration is key to party growth," one Republican said.
"Prevent Obama from spending us into economic oblivion," another warned.
A third added: "Deficit reduction is critical to the long term health of the economy leading to more and better-paying jobs."
For some Democrats, both deficit reduction and tax reform also ranked high on the list.
"Deficits imperil the economy and could destroy the safety net, and Washington could actually fix the problem," one said.
"Create jobs and have everyone pay a fair share, and most of the other problems -- except guns, which will never be solved -- will go away," another said.