In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Lieberman Wants To Start A Bipartisan, High-Income Tax Cuts Gang

Newscom / Bill Clark

These bipartisan 'gangs' -- or groups, as Senators prefer -- have a mixed record of success in recent years. Most famously, in 2005, the so-called "Gang of 14" prevailed in its effort to prevent Senate Republicans (then in the majority) from changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominees.

More recently, the 2009 "Gang of Six" Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee failed to reach a bipartisan consensus on health care reform. The group started with seven members -- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) abandoned the effort early -- and negotiated for months before disbanding without an agreement. The resulting delays have been widely blamed for imperiling the health care law, and stymieing the Democrats' legislative agenda.

"I've started to talk to people, I don't know that I have exactly the way to make this happen, but there's a lot of interest in an extension -- among Democrats and of course Republicans -- a temporary extension of the [Bush] tax cuts on the higher-income Americans, and a more permanent extension of all the rest," Lieberman said. "But we've got to do something before the end of the year because if we don't everybody's taxes go up and that might put the country back into another recession."

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at