Senate Goes On Break As Fiscal Cliff Looms

by InvestorPlace Staff | November 19, 2012 8:07 pm

[1]While other politicians, pundits, and economists fuss and fret over the impending fiscal cliff at the end of the year, the Senate appears to be taking a “What, me worry?” approach to the looming crisis.

With only a few weeks left to get a deal done on the fiscal cliff, the Senate elected to go on recess last Thursday[2], a break that will last until after Thanksgiving. They left having made no progress on several key pieces of legislation, including a fiscal cliff deal, a defense bill, and a bill on cybersecurity.

Heck, things are so bogged down in the Senate that a popular hunting and and sportsmen bill that has been on the floor since before the general election still hasn’t been voted on. The Senate opted to wait until next week to tackle that one.

Bipartisan bickering between Democrats and Republicans is to blame yet again. Senate Republicans allege that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refuses to consider GOP amendments to bills. The Democrats accuse Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of filibustering in order to slow things down.

What this means is that a deal on the fiscal cliff — if a deal is made — will almost certainly come in December. Congressional leaders did meet with Barack Obama last Friday, but that was apparently not enough to get the ball rolling.

Hopefully, being a week closer to going off the fiscal cliff will spur both sides to start working in earnest towards a deal.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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