Today , New Hampshire’s lame duck congressmen are back in Washington. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta will join their Republican colleagues in negotiating with President Obama and the Senate to ward off the fiscal cliff.
That’s when the payroll tax cut and Bush-era tax cuts expire and sequestration hits--simultaneously--in January. And while Second District Congressman Charlie Bass lost his seat, the pressure’s on for the lame-duck Congress to find a compromise. But Bass says there’s not nearly enough time to reach a “Grand Bargain.”
“And I think that the Republicans probably figure that regardless of what happens this year, they’re going to have a chance to work on a longer-term solution next year," Bass says. "The President, of course, has four years to do this, so I think that there will be an incentive to push this issue forward into next year, but avoid the worst parts of the fiscal cliff, which are the sequestration and the expiration of the tax cuts.”
Bass says he’s encouraged that House Speaker John Boehner put increased revenue on the table—perhaps signaling a willingness to compromise with Democrats. And, he says, at this point, it’s probably not realistic for him to hope that President Obama will allow all Bush-era tax cuts to remain in place.