(WASHINGTON) — In order to make a strong economic showing to consumers and markets the week before Christmas, one senator Wednesday proposed that Congress should move up its deadline to get a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
“I propose let’s really conscientiously work hard to make sure that we have a framework that we could vote on by the weekend of December 16,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said from the floor of the Senate Wednesday afternoon. “Let’s have a strong economy closing of the week before Christmas.”
The White House and Congress’ hard deadline is to come to a deal by Jan. 1 in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the $6 trillion in tax increases that will hit all working Americans and $1.2 trillion in deep spending cuts.
Moving the deadline earlier, to Dec. 16, Mikulski argued, would bring “an enormous sense of boosting consumer confidence” nine days before Christmas.
“I think it’s a disaster for our demonstration of our ability to govern, and I think it’s a disaster for our standing in the world. We need to show that we can govern ourselves,” Mikulski said, “Think about what a signal this would be to middle-class people on Main Street and also the people on Wall Street. Because business would have certainty, we would have consumer confidence and we could have a new self-confidence about ourselves that we could govern.”
Mikulski’s pie-in-the-sky call for an earlier deadline may be a little hard to reach around Capitol Hill, best known for pushing deal making to the last second of most deadlines.
The House of Representatives target adjournment date for the holidays is Dec. 14. The Senate does not have a target adjournment, and say they will stay in session as long as it takes to get a deal.
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