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.

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 TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank GOP defeats Schumer bid to delay tax vote MORE (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.”