President Obama is hitting the campaign trail this week, looking to marshal his supporters behind his side of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The president wants to ratchet up the pressure on Republicans by reminding them how consumers and the economy will be affected if the combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts take effect on January 1. Republicans have shown willingness to consider raising taxes on the wealthy, but in exchange they want major changes to entitlement programs, something newly empowered Democrats may be unwilling to do. The president knows most Americans favor letting taxes go up on the rich, but they like their entitlement programs.
Politico reports on the other fiscal cliff: the debt ceiling. President Obama told House Speaker John Boehner he wants it raised by the end of the year. Boehner’s response? “There is a price for everything.” Seems like the last time the debt ceiling was an issue, the price was a downgrade of America’s credit rating. What’s Boehner got in store this time?
Filibuster fight: It’s on. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is proposing new rules about the filibuster, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Reid’s proposals will “poison” the Senate.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice faces her harshest critics. Rice, who may well be President Obama’s top pick to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, will meet Republican senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Kelly Ayotte behind closed doors today on Capitol Hill – a meeting she initiated. Meanwhile a majority of Americans rejects the notion that the Obama administration is covering up over the Benghazi attack.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie sets a record for job approval: A new Quinnipiac poll finds nearly three-quarters of Jersey voters approve the job he’s doing, and that’s the highest ever for a governor of the Garden State.
Finally, Illinois has set a February date for the special election to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr.