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Obama Gets Tough on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations


The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Huff Post:

With the tax-hiking proposal President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Thursday, it seems the president is finally heeding a lesson he learned in the first month of his first term.

At a press conference in February 2009, shortly before Congress passed his landmark stimulus bill with very few Republican votes, a reporter asked Obama how he would get more bipartisan agreement for future legislation.

"Are you going to need a new legislative model, bringing in Republicans from the very beginning," asked NPR's Mara Liasson, "getting more involved in the details yourself from the beginning, or using bipartisan commissions?

Obama responded that he had, in fact, sought GOP input from the beginning of the stimulus bill's creation. And he said the Republicans really liked all the nice tax cuts the White House had included in its initial framework.

"I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them," Obama said. "And maybe that's the lesson I learned."

It's a lesson he put to use Thursday. For weeks, congressional Republicans have complained that the president hadn't offered a plan to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," but on Thursday the Obama administration finally offered a detailed proposal. Republicans are now upset: It includes $1.6 trillion in taxes on the rich, $400 billion worth of unspecified cuts to social insurance programs, and effectively unilateral authority for the president to increase the government's borrowing limit.

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