Deficit-busting campaign hits the Hill

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On Wednesday, the campaign was meeting with a range of lawmakers in both parties, underlining the need to strike a deficit deal and avert the "fiscal cliff." Bowles met with GOP leaders Wednesday to discuss the deficit, after spending Tuesday on the issue at the White House.

However, the campaign is refusing to pick sides on the most intractable parts of the debate, such as what to do with tax rates for the nation's wealthiest earners or how to handle the nation's entitlement programs. Rather, the initiative is simply pushing a broad message of setting aside politics in the name of seeking a broad deficit-reduction package.

"We don't advocate any particular position," said Bertolini.

"We don't want to help negotiate this for them," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who is leading the campaign's efforts. "We're not going to tell them how you're going to fix the problem."

The campaign has said it aims to provide support to lawmakers that buck party ideology on both sides in the name of pursuing a broad deal, and backers remained optimistic that a deal could be struck even if the two sides remain distanced on unaddressed issues.

"Nothing focuses the mind like the fiscal cliff," said MacGuineas. "This is a new moment, which is filled with threats, but that threat is also an opportunity."