House Republicans’ panel picks might prove the most important. Several attempts at reaching a “grand bargain” on the deficit have blown up over the House GOP’s consistent opposition to tax increases. Reid last week warned that the committee would not produce a bill unless Republicans agreed to increase revenue.
Failing to reach a deal would trigger an automatic $1.2 trillion cut in defense, Medicare and other programs starting Jan. 1, 2013.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.