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December 7th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

Fmr. Sr. White House Advisor says ‘there has to be frank discussions confidentially’ on the fiscal cliff

With 25 days left until the country hurtles off the fiscal cliff and both sides agreeing the wealthy will be expected to pay more, Republicans are looking to see how much they can wring out of the White House in return for giving in on taxes. For President Obama, it's all about first locking in additional revenue from raising taxes on high-income owners, an outcome GOP leaders have long rejected. For Republicans negotiations have been focused on securing commitments on entitlement reforms and spending cuts opposed by Democrats. Sources have confirmed to CNN that staff members on both sides resumed talking on Thursday, after Obama and Boehner spoke by phone the day before. This morning Fmr. Sr. White House Advisor Kenneth Baer joins “Starting Point” to weigh in on fiscal cliff negotiations.

Baer who currently serves as Managing Director for The Harbour Group says part moving forward on the fiscal cliff boils down to Speaker John Boehner’s position and whether or not he will “be able to bring along enough members of his caucus in order that you could pass a big deal.” Baer goes on to add that the possibility of a private meeting between Obama and Boehner is not necessarily a bad thing and that “there has to be frank discussions confidentially.” He adds, “Whatever deal there is would have to come before a vote in the congress and that’s when you have a debate over what the contours of any plan would be.”

Baer concludes that if we do end up going over the fiscal cliff, “there is a way to mitigate [the sequester] for the first few weeks.”

Filed under: Fiscal cliff
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