After 23 days, Obama and Boehner meet in person again
AS THE FISCAL CLIFF TURNS: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met yesterday for the first time in 23 days. However, no one knows what was said during this meeting as both sides declined to comment. What we do know is that ourleaders are facing a major problem. Because the two have refused to meet for such an extended period of time, the list of options to avoid the cliff is shrinking and the public is not confident that a deal will happen. Tune in tomorrow as the story continues.
LACK OF LEADERSHIP ON IMMIGRATION: The fiscal cliff is the primary focus in Washington right now, but there are some other important problems — like immigration — that need to be solved. Republicans and Democrats are not close to reaching a solution on immigration, but within the Republican party there is an additional divide. Some members are scared that agreeing to a comprehensive reform package could lead to a challenge in their primary election. We need our leaders to not worry about the political impacts of a decision and focus on doing what is best for the country: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen for POLITICO: The GOP's immigration jam
RESTORING FAITH: With so many people not believing in Congress' ability to lead, Julian Zelizer says that this is a perfect opportunity for members to change their image by reaching across the aisle. "The virtue of bipartisan deals is that they create bills that are more durable over time and have the imprint of a broader portion of the American public. Bipartisan votes on legislation demonstrate that support for a bill is not red or blue, but red, white and blue," he says: Julian Zelizer for CNN: Congress' fiscal moment of truth
BUDGETING BASICS: Sen. Kelly Ayotte recently spoke to constituents about how budget problems are affecting our leaders'ability to govern. One solution she pointed to was passing the No Budget, No Pay Act. "Congress shouldn't get paid if we don't have a budget," she said: John Quinn for the Union Leader: U.S. Sen. Ayotte, in Milton event, wants country to get back to budgeting basics
REJECTING THE PLEDGE: What would our founding fathers have to say about Grover Norquist's tax pledge? If President James Madison is any indication, they would reject it. Madison once stated if a representative, "is instructed to patronize certain measures, and … he is convinced that they will endanger the public good; is he obliged to sacrifice his own judgement to them?" We need ourleaders to answer 'no' to that question: Stephen Prothero for USA TODAY: What James Madison would tell Grover Norquist
GROWING DEBT: Check out these infographics on the impact our national debt could have on other areas of spending: Face the Facts USA: One nation under debt
THE DAILY BREAK: Ever wonder where movies like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were filmed? Click here to find out.
STAT OF THE DAY: Zero. That's the amount of growth the International Monetary Fund head, Christine Lagarde, says that the United States economy can expect next year if Congress can't come to a comprehensive deal on the fiscal cliff: Adam Levy forCNN: Lagarde: ‘Zero’ U.S. growth without a deal