Democratic budget leader Rep. Chris Van Hollen urges that the national debt ceiling be raised as part of the year-end talks to avoid the 'fiscal cliff,' rather than waiting until late winter to address it.
Resolving the fiscal cliff this year may require Speaker John Boehner to take to the House floor a deal that a majority of Republicans will reject – a move that could risk his speakership in the next Congress, says the Democrats' Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
Debt-fighting duo Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who led Obama's bipartisan debt-reduction panel, speaking at a Monitor breakfast Wednesday warn partisans in Congress against going over the fiscal cliff in a bid to gain a political advantage.
Former chairs of Obama's debt commission, Alan Simpson (R) and Erskine Bowles (D), said at the Monitor breakfast Wednesday they see just a one-third likelihood that the White House and congressional Republicans will reach a deal by year's end to avert the fiscal cliff.
House minority whip Steny Hoyer says if 2010 was the year of the angry American voter, 2012 is the year of the anxious voter. The Maryland Democrat also says current Congress is 'least productive and most confrontational' he's ever served in.