President Obama in the Oval Office, where there may be some more late night bargaining sessions before a deal is reached to keep the federal government from going over the "fiscal cliff." (December 2009 file photo.)
Sen. Kent Conrad has chaired the Senate Budget Committee since 2006. The Democratic senator from North Dakota is retiring in January 2013, but before leaving the Senate, he is a key player in the negotiations to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Conrad about the challenges to achieving a budget compromise.
As the White House and Congress continue to wrangle over a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and its billions in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, we wanted to take a look at who is spending big to influence the debate behind the scenes.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:17 am
Speaker of the House John Boehner listens as President Obama speaks during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in November.
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The bottom line on the fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill is that things seem far from resolved. As Politico put it, the last we heard is that White House congressional liaison Rob Nabors went to Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers that President Obama is not budging.
If Congress does not come to an agreement, the country is facing steep spending cuts and tax hikes that economist warn could send the economy back into recession.