Durbin: Deficit deal unlikely before election
July 30, 2012
By ROBIN BRAVENDER
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin doesn't see much opportunity for resolving the anticipated "fiscal cliff" facing the country before Election Day.
"Let me be honest with you ... in the next 100 days before the election, the political environment is not one for compromise and negotiation," the Illinois Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," when asked about prospects for a debt agreement.
Still, Durbin said he was optimistic that lawmakers could move toward an agreement on a grand debt bargain this November.
"If we are prepared, the day after the election to move forward with a plan that restores confidence in the economy and the ability of congress to react to it, it's going to be a positive thing for us. I think we can do it," he said. "With the president's leadership, we can come together. There's a bipartisan answer here that'll reduce the deficit and still create an environment for economic growth."
If lawmakers can't reach a deal by year's end, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts would be triggered and the Bush-era tax cuts would expire.