For the first time in over three weeks, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner looked each other in the eye and actually had a conversation! This meeting comes at a very important time because in just 22 days Americans face severe tax hikes and spending cuts unless these two leaders can find a way to compromise. Neither side would discuss specifics but after yesterday's white house meeting a spokesman for the president said – quote – "the lines of communication remain open." This morning, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) joins “Starting Point” to weigh in on the fiscal cliff and the recent meeting between the president and Speaker Boehner.
Chu says she, “was encouraged to see the meeting between Speaker Boehner and President Obama” and she “really feels a deal has to be made.” She adds “a deal is to be made that would benefit the people if it were done earlier.”
Chu says, “we need discussion right now…and we need to have a discussion where we could have sensible solutions with regard to the safety net programs as well as the tax cuts.”
On the topic of what democrats will bring to the table Chu says, “Something that should have been done a while ago” is a “ change to Medicare in which we can actually negotiate for drug prices. After all we do it for Medicaid. Why can’t we do it for Medicare? That would be a big savings to the Medicare program.”
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on bills addressing the Bush-era tax cuts this week, before congress goes on a on a five-week recess.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking Democrat on The House Budget Committee, talks with Soledad O’Brien on "Starting Point" this morning about the reasons House Republicans should take up President Obama’s plan on tax cuts.
Van Hollen says, the president’s plan which passed senate last week “would provide tax relief for 100% of the American people compared to what the current law provides.” The Maryland congressman went on to say Obama’s plan would “provide total relief to 98% of the American people,” however the top 2% would not benefit “quite as much.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on President Obama's proposed plan to extend Bush-era tax cuts for middle class.