Obama 'eager' to go over fiscal cliff, says senator
Barack Obama was accused by a senior Republican yesterday of being eager to take the United States over the fiscal cliff for political gain, despite the president seeking to break the budget deadlock by urging Democrats and Republicans to draft interim legislation.
Senator John Barrasso, the Republicans’ third highest-ranking senator, said Obama “sensed victory at the bottom of the cliff”. It comes after the president called on Congress to “cool off” over the Christmas break amid rising rhetoric.
The White House raised the prospect on Friday of settling for a stopgap measure to avert tax rises and spending cuts due to come in effect on January 1st. But Democrats and Republicans seem some way from an agreement.
Asked if he believed the US was heading towards missing the deadline, Barrasso said: “I believe we are.” He added: “I believe the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. He senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff.”
Last week, John Boehner, leader of the lower House of Representatives, was forced to withdraw a Bill aimed at pushing his version of a short-term fix to the growing crisis. – (Guardian service)