Monday, December 10, 2012

The Gang's All Here: Waiting Near the Fiscal Cliff

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

The so-called "Gang of Eight" is ready to "jump into action," rallying momentum if President Barack Obama and GOP House Speaker John Boehner come close to a compromise with the fiscal cliff now just days away.

This morning's National Journal reports that the gang—which includes Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo—hasn't met formally since Nov. 13, "but that doesn't mean its members aim to sit idly by as the nation careens toward a fiscal precipice."

"The negotiations at this point are almost exclusively being done by the president’s team [and] the speaker’s team," said Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the gang's unofficial ringleader. "So many of the rest of us who have ideas and suggestions are kind of standing down and are letting those guys kind of go at it.”

Along with Crapo and Warner, the gang also includes Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.

"The game plan right now is to let the negotiations between Boehner and Obama play their course and give them some room to do what they need to do,” an aide to a member of the group told the National Journal.

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