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07 Jan 2013

The Winners

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the adult in the room renewed his claim to the title “master political tactician” and still the most important GOPer in DC. VP Joe Biden, the closer who came off the bench when talks broke down. House Min. Leader Nancy Pelosi, who delivered all but 16 Democrats, then took a victory lap. And outside conservative groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action, which demonstrated their influence over the House GOP caucus. THE LOSERS: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who drove such a hard bargain that he was sidelined, yes, he steered himself right outta the cliff talks. The Obama-Boehner axis, after demonstrating once again they’re great at talking past each other. House GOP leadership aides, who have to deal with even more Boehner-Cantor schism stories, and the business lobby, which was supposed to exert pressure on GOPers to get a deal done. It worked in the Senate, not so much in the House.
SHOT: The deal, ultimately intended as a deficit-reduction measure, would actually increase the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate. CHASER: The estimate is relative to a baseline that assumes all Bush-era tax cuts would have expired, “and therefore gives no deficit-reduction credit for the fact that the deal begins to raise rates for the wealthiest Americans,” reports POLITICO’s David Rogers.

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