President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are driving a hard bargain.
Heading into Friday’s White House meeting with congressional leaders on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Democrats have mocked House Speaker John Boehner’s offer to raise revenue without raising tax rates and are insisting on increasing rates on the wealthy to meet their demand for $1.6 trillion in new revenue—double the amount on the table during last year’s debt-ceiling debate.
And on Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders said no to another Republican priority when they rejected putting any entitlement reforms forward ahead of Friday’s meeting. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talked only about what he won’t accept during negotiations—namely, any changes to Social Security.
Asked by National Journal Daily what entitlement reforms Democrats are putting on the table, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin, both members of Reid’s leadership team, echoed the majority leader. “He’s not bringing entitlements to the table,” Durbin said.
A longer version of this article appeared today in National Journal Daily.