Harry Reid, on the Senate floor, said that he just spoke with President Barack Obama, but that they do not have a "counteroffer to make" to Republicans:
"We did have conversations last night that ended late in the evening between staffs, this morning we've been trying to come up with some counteroffer to my friends' proposals," said Reid, saying he's had a number" of conversations with the president. "I don't have a counteroffer to make."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, made his "fiscal cliff" position clear in a press conference today. "We are not going to do anything," said Reid.
Reid added, "We are not taking up anything they are working on over there."
The top Democrat in the Senate was explaining his inaction on the House plan, the proposal put forward by Republican John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives. Boehner's plan is being referred to as 'Plan B.'
Senate Democrats are questioning a statement made by former Republican senator Chuck Hagel that the “Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Washington. The comment has resurfaced now that Hagel is rumored to be Barack Obama’s top choice to head the Pentagon. He used the term in a 2008 interview.
For years, liberal pundits and Senate Democrats have talked about altering the filibuster, the procedural rule that requires a 60-vote supermajority to end debate in the U.S. Senate. The device has been a burden for majority leaders for generations, and it dogged Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama during the liberal bonanza that was the 111th Congress of 2009-2010.
President Barack Obama’s plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff hinges on increasing marginal tax rates on those earning over $250,000 a year—a group that includes those “millionaires and billionaires” but also includes several hundred thousand small-business owners who file their taxes as individuals. Obama supports raising that rate to 39.6 percent in order to bring in needed revenues. Democrats frequently say these top earners need to “pay their fair share.”
Republican senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, is accusing Democrat Harry Reid, the majority leader, of wanting to "break the rules to change the rules." This is part a "systematic effort to marginalize the minority," according to McConnell.