Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Lindsey Graham partially make up a group of lawmakers that has vowed to find a "balanced" package to avert the year-end budget cuts required by sequestration.
In a brief interview last week, Graham reiterated his support for a long-term deficit plan based on the principles outlined by the Simpson-Bowles commission, in which the elimination of credits and deductions within the tax code would be used to help lower marginal tax rates and contribute to balancing the budget.
Levin has said he is confident the sequester will be avoided and that Congress should do more to send signals to federal contractors and the broader economy that both sides will reach an agreement during the lame-duck session. Reid expressed a similar view to reporters last week.
"I've been around here awhile. I understand how we come together in times of crisis," Reid said. "I do not believe that we're going to go over the fiscal cliff, so I think that the work that needs to be done - everyone knows what needs to be done."
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.