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Chuck Schumer
Sen. Schumer is having some fun at the GOP's expense.
Democrats are feeling their oats these days, projecting increasing confidence that Republicans will capitulate on middle class taxes in the end-of-the-year battle over tax and spending cuts, otherwise known as the fiscal cliff. There's House Democratic leader threatening to use a discharge petition to try to force a vote on middle-class tax cuts in the House, and there's tough talk from Democrats, including the White House, on their willingness to let Jan. 1, 2013 come and go without a deal.

They get that they have the upper hand in this, and are showing it.

“You can smell the winds,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), No. 3 in his party’s leadership, said Thursday. “When so many Republicans say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have to give into the Democrats,’ that’s how it works around here. That’s the beginning.”

Democratic leaders in the House see the same erosion among Republicans on tax hikes for the wealthy. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) likened her party’s unity to last year’s payroll tax holiday fight, in which Republicans eventually capitulated and passed a plan they once opposed. Asked if the GOP would buckle, Pelosi said, “I wouldn’t say buckle. See the light might be a better term.”

If there is really a wedge that can be driven into the Republican monolith on tax cuts, Pelosi's discharge petition could strike the first blow. In the meantime, Democrats are unified in keeping the focus primarily on those tax cuts, and not letting Republicans goad them into committing to specific cuts.
[U]nlike the Democrats’ calls for higher taxes on rich Americans, the GOP’s preferred Medicare cuts are deeply unpopular. So they’re trying to cow Democrats into proposing these cuts first—to effectively author both sides of the proposal—and provide them political cover.

“We’ve come down with ours. We’re still waiting for theirs. That’s the status of the negotiations,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Capitol Thursday, laughing off the GOP’s demand.

Laughing at the GOP's demands is the best strategy. Good to see it being deployed.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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