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TheStreet Open House

Politics 2013: What's After the Fiscal Cliff?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Congress will continue on its partisan path of politics in 2013, but not before it avoids the full so-called fiscal cliff and passes a budget.

The 2012 presidential campaign was a brutal affair during which two candidates boasted about their very different views of how to lead the country, and America watched in 2011 as a minority group of lawmakers pushed the country to the edge of a debt-ceiling crisis.

House Speaker John Boehner has remained steadfast against President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes on the top 2% of income earners (Obama has also admitted Democrats will have to concede tough cuts of their own). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's unrelenting support of the president, and Obama's decisive margin of victory against Mitt Romney suggest that Boehner may be the one conceding more in the end.

"It feels like that may be the direction we're headed, doesn't it?" said Doug Preisse, the Franklin county, Ohio, Republican Party chairman.

Many analysts have admitted it's difficult to predict when legislators will reach a fiscal cliff deal, but some market analysts believe Congress will make some short-term adjustments for the end of 2012 and flesh out a significant plan into the first quarter of 2013. A successful fiscal cliff deal likely would be followed by passing a proper budget.

And after that?

"It all depends on who gets pushed over the fiscal cliff," said David Di Martino, a Democratic strategist in Washington D.C. "If the president uses the Senate backstop and puts enough pressure on Boehner to get what he wants out of the fiscal cliff negotiations, maybe Boehner is less inclined to deal on anything the rest of the year."

Should the president's recent election victory and Democrats' seat pickups in the House and Senate sweep them to budget victory, Republicans may very well turn to their stubborn ways. The catch, Di Martino said, is that obstructionism didn't make 2012 a banner year for the GOP. Lesson learned in 2013?"

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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