The PJ Tatler

McCain: GOPs Could Come on Board with Simpson-Bowles

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he believes Republicans are prepared to embrace the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan as a “broad outline” to avert the fiscal cliff in the lame-duck session.

The combination of spending cuts and tax hikes was the product of President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, but Obama has not embraced the proposals from former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Some Democrats and Republicans have urged movement forward on the plan.

“Everybody knows what the solution is, and that’s Simpson-Bowles. I mean, everybody knows that that’s the template for what we need to do, but nobody’s ready to step forward so far. And I say, as a partisan, it does require some presidential leadership,” McCain said on CBS’ Capitol Gains yesterday.

“The president’s made it very clear that everything is going to be settled in a lame-duck or after the election,” he added. “Well, those of us who’ve been around this town, lame-duck sessions don’t do very well. In fact, they’re usually disasters.”

Still, the senator said, markets could react as the cliff gets closer and closer and deal will have to be forged — which could include getting the GOP on board with Simpson-Bowles.

“I think we are prepared to support it as an outline, as a broad outline for a solution,” McCain said. “…It’s a matter of definition. No, I’m not ready to, quote, ‘raise taxes.’ But I am ready to sit down and go over the whole area with everything on the table so that we can fix this.”