Consensus needed to tackle so-called 'fiscal cliff'
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After an extremely contentious, expensive campaign season, it seems as if leaders on Capitol Hill are trying to change the tone and finding consensus is more important now than ever as the nation approaches a fiscal cliff.
On Wednesday, the Senate majority leader made a plea against partisan gridlock.
"It’s better to dance than to fight, it’s better to work together,” Democratic Senator Harry Reid said. “Everything doesn’t have to be a fight. That’s the way it’s been the last couple years. Legislation is the art of compromise, it’s consensus building."
The House speaker too addressed the public with carefully selected words read from a teleprompter signaling a change in tactic.
"Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we're willing to accept some additional revenue via tax reform," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said.
While encouraging compromise, Rep. Boehner stressed he still won't support a simple tax hike on the rich, calling it short-sighted. Instead he's pushing for what he says is a long-term approach.
"Shoring up entitlements, and reforming the tax code, closing special interest loopholes and deductions and moving to a fairer simpler system," Rep. Boehner said.
It's a willingness to compromise from Republicans while was absent while the President's future was ambiguous, but the shift is necessary as our nation's leaders are faced with an unprecedented combination of scheduled tax hikes, mounting debt and deep automatic cuts—known as the "fiscal cliff"—which demand their attention and resolution before the end of the year.
"I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together,” President Obama said in his victory speech early Wednesday morning.
Leaders have been working with each other and the President about tackling the fiscal cliff.
Republicans, who have been highly critical of Obama's leadership skills say the ball is now his court.
"Mr. President this is your moment. We're ready to be led,” Rep. Boehner said. “Not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans."