Congress Returns to Work

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Hope Congress enjoyed that weekend after the election. U.S. lawmakers will return to Washington on Tuesday to tackle the so-called fiscal cliff. They have imposed a seven-week deadline to reach an agreement to avoid having scheduled tax hikes and automatic budget cuts from going into effect at the end of the year. While both Republicans and Democrats generally agree that they need to avoid the $600 billion of draconian budget cuts and that they should be working on creating long-term deficit reduction and revising the tax code, the sides disagree on how to get over the immediate cuts. President Obama is scheduled to meet with top business, civil, and labor leaders on Friday—a meeting that a senior Republican said is expected to help “get the ball rolling” on negotiations.