BRT's John Engler, NAM's Jay Timmons and Greg Casey of BIPAC held a post-election conference call with reporters today. (Audio) Major themes included the imperative of dealing with the fiscal cliff and then moving forward in 2013 on a long-term deficit-reduction deal that combines comprehensive tax reform, entitlement reform, and an agenda for economic growth. A roundup:
Wall Street Journal (blog), "Business Groups: President Must Use Mandate to Face Down Fiscal Cliff":
There isn’t much time,” said John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, referring to the lame-duck session of Congress. “At minimum you have to get the fiscal cliff under control” by extending existing tax rules through 2013 and avoiding steep cuts to military spending and other government budgets.
Mr. Engler said any type of “grand bargain” should be put off until next year to avoid the risk that Congress ends up gridlocked in an attempt to enact wider reforms before mid-January...
“A tax increase on that group is not going to solve fiscal-cliff or long-term deficit issues,” said Greg Casey, president of the Business Industry Political Action Committee. “It’d be nice if there was a cease fire until we understand what the larger proposals will be.”
Washington Post (blog), "Has Obama been given a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy?"
What kind of deal would come out of such leadership from the president? A plan that prioritized economic growth and jobs, not raising taxes, the business groups said. “The great thing about winning a mandate is you get to go first. That’s called leadership. I’d simply go for the idea of full one-year extension in 2013,” said Engler, arguing that any major changes to the tax code should be done as a part of a bigger “grand bargain” further down the road. “There are pretty convincing economic reasons not to raise taxes” in the short-term, he added.
National Journal, "View From K Street: Boehner Will Have to Bend"
Although lobbyists predict that tax and entitlement reform will be on the agenda, the details about how officials will work it out remain murky. And don't hold your breath for movement during the lame-duck session, they say."I do not have great expectations. ... You have to be minimalist," said Engler, who described lame-duck sessions as typically "dismal."As for the legislative substance: Congress and the president need to get a "growth package" through then handle tax and entitlement reforms, NAM's Jay Timmons said, arguing that uncertainty is choking his members.
UPDATE (Thursday 9:40 a.m.):
From left: NAM's Jay Timmons, Greg Casey of BIPAC, and BRT's John Engler brief reporters on election results. (Photo courtesy National Association of Manufacturers)
Motion to proceed to consideration of S. 744, #immigration bill, passes Senate by 84-15. Getting right into amendments.
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