With the U.S. House adjourned and its members gone home for
Christmas, senators were left in Washington, D.C., Sunday to bicker
over who's to blame for Congress' failure to resolve the so-called
fiscal cliff - a series of tax hikes and deep agency funding cuts
that, without congressional action, will begin Jan. 1.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, responding to House Speaker John Boehner's failure Thursday to get a House vote on his "Plan B" alternative, said a fiscal cliff solution now appears unlikely.
"It's the first time that I feel it's more likely we'll go over the cliff than not," Lieberman said. "If we allow that to happen it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in American history because of the impact it will have on almost every American," he said.
Lieberman is a Connecticut independent who normally votes with Senate Democrats. He also is a lame duck, having been defeated for re-election last November.
Lieberman chose exactly the right word - irresponsibility. It is almost astounding to think that the nation's leaders - President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - would continue to play political games with this issue.
The leaders' failure to compromise will mean smaller paychecks and sharply reduced services for American citizens and, depending on how the stock market reacts, a potential wipeout of their retirement savings.
This nightmare seems unbelievable, but it's happening.
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