Dems See Big Opening for More Tax Hikes

Dems See Big Opening for More Tax Hikes

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After nearly four years of making excuses for not crafting a budget, the Senate Democrats now see adopting a budget as a “great opportunity” to refuel the tax battle and pursue more tax hikes on the wealthy, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“There’s going to have to be some spending cuts, and those will be negotiated,” Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, said in an interview after the show. “But doing a budget is the best way for us to get revenues.” Schumer’s pronouncement comes days after House Republicans offered to forgo a potentially damaging clash over the federal debt limit, saying they would vote this week to permit the government to continue borrowing through mid-April. But in return, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other leaders demanded that the Senate resurrect    the traditional budget process, by which the two chambers adopt their own blueprints and then work out differences in conference committee. -  Read more at The Washington Post

LEGAL BEAGLES QUESTION GOP PAY FREEZE PLAN   Some legal experts have strong reservations about the House GOP proposal to withhold lawmakers’ pay until they pass a budget.
The plan, outlined by  House Republican leaders  last Friday, would raise the debt ceiling for three months in return for the House and Senate passing budgets in that time. But if either chamber misses the deadline, lawmakers won’t get paid until they do. The proposal is clearly aimed at Senate Democrats, who haven’t passed a formal budget in nearly four years. However, some scholars say the plan doesn’t pass constitutional muster under the 27th Amendment, which says:  “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”  -  Read more at Talking Points Memo

PUBLIC CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT NEXT FOUR YEARS    As the inaugural ceremony and festivities unfold on the Mall today, a majority of Americans believe President Obama will do as well or better than he did during his first term.  According to a new Huffington Post poll, 39 percent of respondents said they believe the President will accomplish more in his second term, while 25 percent expect him to do about the same as he did in the last four years. But 22 percent of respondents say they expect Obama to do less during his second term.   -  Read more at the Huffington Post

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.