Baucus urges post-election compromise on 'fiscal cliff'

“Now that the election is over, it’s time to stop the brawling and brinkmanship. I encourage everyone — Republicans, Democrats, Independents — to work together to find a solution to the great many challenges we face,” Baucus said.

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Baucus faces reelection in heavily Republican Montana in 2014, so he is under pressure to move to the center and to avoid blame for any economic damage from the $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts coming in January. The cliff will cause a new recession, according to economists. 

On Tuesday, Baucus’s Democratic colleague, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), won his reelection. This prevents Baucus from being politically isolated in his home state, but does raise the prospect of a strong challenge from defeated GOP candidate Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who had tried to unseat Tester. 

“After spending the past month with the folks I work for out in Montana, I know that when Congress returns next week, they want us to shift gears from working on campaigns to working towards compromise,” Baucus said in his statement. 

He said a fiscal cliff deal should “supports jobs, expands opportunity and puts America’s economy back on track.”