Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and his so-called "gang of eight" colleagues wasted little time after the Nov. 6 re-election of President Barack Obama to schedule their return flights to the nation's capital.
The senators announced late Nov. 9 that they will reconvene next week, to "assess where they are" in terms of a deal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, a U.S. Senate aide told CNN. The gang last met in October, when most lawmakers were heading home to wage re-election campaigns.
"All the moving parts can be shuffled around, depending on political outcomes," Crapo told Boise Weekly, before adding the caveat that the president "has to be willing to look at overhauling the tax code."
Crapo is convinced that the fiscal cliff garnered headlines but not nearly enough attention from citizens.
"I don't think we're at the point where the American people realize the imminency and scope of this threat," said Crapo.
In addition to Crapo, the gang of eight includes Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Dick Durbin of Illinois, retiring Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.