Early next January, a series of policies are set to take effect that economists warn -- and lawmakers recognize -- will potentially plunge the U.S. back into a recession. If no action is taken, taxes will rise on virtually all income groups and large, automatic spending cuts will take effect.
President Obama and Democrats insist they will not support a package to avoid the worst of that outcome without new revenues alongside spending cuts. It's a stance they've held since last fall after soaking up trillions in debt reduction via cuts only. Senate Republicans have expressed some openness to new revenues but the House GOP remains adamant against new taxes.
Ellison stated the obvious, which is that Republicans are biding their time because they'll have a far stronger negotiating hand if the November elections shake out in their favor. He added that a bad economy will help the GOP's odds of victory.
"I think they are waiting on the outcome of [the] election," he said. "They will negotiate after the election. Do-nothing government works for them. If the government doesn't do anything, that works for them."
David Taintor contributed to this report.