‘Zero Dark Thirty’: Bin Laden Manhunt Film Based on Controversial First-Hand Accounts: Martha Raddatz Has Exclusive Interview with Filmmakers - http://abcn.ws/S8q1J7
Christie Seeking Reelection - Paging @CoryBooker – From Elizabeth Hartfield and Shush Walshe – http://abcn.ws/SlXa5s
Violators Reach Out, Touch Base - Sen. Bob Corker told Charlie Rose he’s not bound by the pledge. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Independent Republican from Alaska, has not been outspoken on the pledge, but an aide said she does not feel any attachment to the pledge. She believes everything must be on the table, as long as Democrats are coming to the table to discuss entitlement reform.
Different lawmakers interpret the pledge differently.
“Speaker Boehner is opposed to tax hikes because they hurt small businesses and cost jobs, not because of a pledge,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for the House Speaker.
But in these talks so far there is a perceived difference between raising taxes rates and raising tax revenues by ending some tax deductions.
A Brief History of the Pledge and Grover - http://abcn.ws/10KkX2n (Chris Good)
On World News, Norquist told Jon Karl the Pledge is like a marriage vow.
Flipside – This Week Rewind – Dick Durbin SAID put Medicare on the table - But he didn’t leave much room to mess with it – Durbin will make the Progressive Case for a bipartisan fiscal deal at the Center for American Progress tomorrow - http://abcn.ws/10SjLJb
Monday Cliff Diving – President Obama has tapped Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as lead negotiator in the talks to avoid going over the “Fiscal Cliff,” a person familiar with the situation tells ABC News. (Tapper)
Obama, Boehner, Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — the principals necessary to forge an agreement to avert sweeping automatic tax hikes and deep cuts to government spending come Jan. 1 — have no plans to meet in person this week, officials said. They first and last met at the White House on Nov. 16. (Dwyer)
According to a senior aide to the Speaker, there are no ‘negotiator’ or ‘negotiators’ designated at this point for House Republicans, but the speaker has expanded his daily management leadership meeting to include the chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction — Dave Camp (Ways and Means), Fred Upton (Energy and Commerce), and Paul Ryan (Budget). (Parkinson)
Boehner and ‘Fix the Debt’ - John Parkinson reports – On Wednesday, Speaker Boehner and other House Republican leaders will meet with former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and members of the ‘Fix the Debt’ coalition, of which Mr. Bowles is campaign co-founder.
A senior aide to the speaker points out that the ‘Fix the Debt’ coalition advocates for a solution to the debt crisis that essentially mirrors the “balanced” framework put forward by Boehner and congressional Republicans. They recommend a plan that would:
• Reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system, and limit future cost growth;
• Strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and
• Include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit.
Obama Non-Committal on Medicare Means Testing -
DEVIN DWYER: On entitlements: last year from this podium, the president expressed openness — as part of a major debt deal — to means-testing Medicare, or asking higher-income recipients to pay higher premiums. I think his campaign said during the campaign that he would propose a 15-percent hike on premiums for recipients in parts B and D in 2017, down the road. Does that stuff remain on the table, and can you give us a sense of what changes are being discussed here now?
JAY CARNEY: What I can tell you is what the president has said, and that is that he believes and understands that in order to achieve a deal, a compromise, that everybody has to make some tough choices. And he remains committed to that principle.
It should be noted that through the Affordable Care Act, significant savings in our health care entitlements have already been locked in. It should be noted that in the president’s own proposal, in his budget, that we — he calls for an additional, I believe, $340 billion in savings out of health care programs. So I think he’s demonstrated his seriousness when it comes to recognizing that we need to enact reforms in our entitlement programs that strengthen those programs and produce savings. And that’s the approach he’ll take.
But I’m not going to get into the specifics and negotiate line items on what those reforms might look like as part of an overall package. But he understand that that’s — that compromise requires both sides to make tough choices.
WH Says Bush Tax Cut Expiration (for Middle Class) Will Hurt Consumer Spending - The White House’s findings are a clear grab for leverage in the impending “fiscal cliff” talks on Capitol Hill, in which the previous administration’s cuts have been a negotiating point. But it also largely echoes similar research from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office out earlier this month. Economists warn the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would be triggered if Congress fails to pass a budget by the end of the year would plunge the country back into recession. http://abcn.ws/TgtYKa (Larotonda)
Congressional Approval – The last time a quarter of Americans approved of Congress it was December of 2009 – http://bit.ly/UosxwT
Susan Rice to Meet McCain, Other GOP Lawmakers on Capitol Hill - Sunlen Miller reports: Among those meetings will be a morning meeting tomorrow with Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., who, although he has backed off recently, has been perhaps most vocal in his opposition to Rice taking over for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if nominated by President Obama.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had said in the past he’d be willing to filibuster Rice’s nomination and do “whatever is necessary to block the nomination” of Rice because of how she handled the aftermath of the Sept. 11th terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. This weekend McCain notably backed off on this threat and softened his stance against Rice, saying he’d “give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took.”