Tax Writers and Feds in an Economic Huddle

The meetings are part of a flurry of action on year-end fiscal issues, as both the House and the Senate prepare to leave town this week to campaign full-time through the November election.

HuddleTax-writing senators are privately discussing how to deal with the looming “fiscal cliff” with a string of key government officials.

Members of the Senate Finance Committee have already met with Doug Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and have afternoon meetings scheduled with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Tom Barthold, the chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Finance members told The Hill after the meeting with Elmendorf that they did not present a specific fiscal plan for the CBO head to score, and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said that the meeting centered on the economic consequences of various approaches to dealing with the cliff.

But Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the panel’s chairman, did say that he had already handed some proposals over to Elmendorf, with the economy poised to hit the fiscal cliff in less than four months.

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Source: Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson and Peter Schroeder | The Hill