Schakowsky optimistic of fiscal cliff accord

November 19, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

Scott Kanowsky/WBEZ
Rep. Jan Schakowsky speaking at a press conference on Nov. 19, 2012.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Monday she is optimistic that a bipartisan agreement between Republicans and Democrats can be forged to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

A package of spending cuts and tax hikes is set to kick in next year if Congress does not take action.

Schakowsky, a Chicago-area Democrat, said at a press conference on consumer product safety Monday that an agreement is now more likely in the post-election political climate.

"The attitude is significantly different than before we left for the election season. Sounds much more open to compromise," she said.

She pointed to a 2008 bill that placed new regulations on some consumer products that enjoyed wide bipartisan support as an example.

"Before the elections in 2010, that was the standard. This is not some ancient history where Republicans and Democrats were able to sit down and come to an agreement," Schakowsky said.

Schakowsky said she expects "vigorous" debate over who will pay for any potential revenue increases.

But she said she hopes lawmakers will figure out the framework of a fiscal agreement by the end of this year—although she did concede that some issues would have to be put off until after the Jan. 1 deadline.