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GOP, Democrats Continue Public Standoff

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
On “Fox News Sunday,” Corker joined several other Republicans who are now acknowledging that raising taxes on upper-income earners is more likely. “I actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take,” he said.

“I think we will get a deal. I think everyone realizes how important it is,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said on “Fox News Sunday.’ “The reason I think we’ll get an agreement, what’s standing in the way is revenues, particularly making that top rate go up to 39.6 [percent]. But I think we are seeing real progress in that regard.”

Corker also agreed that a deal would be reached, and he said Republicans would soon have another chance to extract spending cuts.

“Republicans know that they have the debt ceiling right around the corner,” Corker said. “The leverage is going to shift.”

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, who has already suggested giving in on tax rates, said on Fox that Republicans should look to the debt ceiling as an opportunity, and he laid out a possible endgame of avoiding the cliff.

He suggested the GOP-controlled House pass two bills by the end of the year: one that would extend all of the tax cuts and another that would boost the top tax rate to 37 percent and be levied just on millionaires. He predicted the Senate would pass the second bill and Obama would sign it into law.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles provided the comic relief for the ongoing drama.

Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the two former chairmen of Obama’s 2010 blue ribbon deficit reduction commission implored the sides to get a deal for the good of the country. When host Bob Schieffer asked Simpson about his cutting a video where he implored young people to get involved that included some dancing Gangnam Style, Bowles could be heard cracking up off camera.

“Erskine, will you quit laughing,” Simpson said, snickering himself.

“It is great, isn’t it?” Schieffer said, unable to keep a straight face.

Simpson said his use of humor could be deployed just as much as sober analysis to strike an agreement.

“Nobody has any humor in Washington,” Simpson said.

Jason Dick contributed to this report.

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