‘on the table’ 
in fiscal talks

Talks in Washington, D.C., aimed at averting a fall over the “fiscal cliff” were greeted with optimism by Colorado officials.

The nature of the talks that included the leadership of both houses of Congress and President Barack Obama suggested that even entitlement spending might be on the table, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.

Tipton wants to implement “real cuts” in federal spending, spokesman Josh Green said, adding that “with the debt crisis as severe as it is, we don’t think there is anything that’s not on the table.”

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., whose term is up in 2014, asked supporters in a campaign statement to sign a petition calling for higher tax rates by allowing the Bush tax cuts on capital gains, inheritance and income to expire.

Udall cited a letter signed by himself, Tipton and Sen. Michael Bennet in August that said there “should be no higher priority for this Congress than crafting a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan so we can bring it to an up-or-down vote before the end of the year and avoid the blunt automatic spending cuts” that form part of the “fiscal cliff.” The other part includes tax increases. Udall on Friday called for targeted spending cuts and increased revenue while “shoring up our nation’s social safety nets.”

Bennet, who has been working with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., to craft budget solutions, is now working on legislative language that can be used to support a budget proposal worked out by leadership, spokesman Adam Bozzi said.

Bennet now is “trying to get the president and speaker and leadership some room to move forward with their negotiations,” Bozzi said.

“The mood here is leaning toward a little more bipartisanship and cooperation,” he said.


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