Graham: Obama has won ‘fiscal cliff’ battle

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A top Republican senator is conceding defeat in the debate with President Obama over how best to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” accepting that tax increases now appear inevitable.

“Hats off to the president. He stood his ground. He’s going to get tax-rate increases,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“He won,” Mr. Graham said, a blunt assessment of the political environment on Capitol Hill now less than 48 hours before massive spending cuts and tax increases on most Americans go into effect on Jan. 1.

Mr. Graham also said that he’ll likely vote for a deal to avoid the cliff “even if I won’t like it,” stressing that GOP support for a compromise measure in the Senate will make it far easier for House Speaker John A. Boehner to rally his troops, something he was unable to do when promoting his “Plan B” solution to the fiscal cliff crisis.

As for specifics, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, said she and other Democrats would be willing to compromise on the income limit for tax increases. Most Democrats, along with Mr. Obama, have in the past drawn the line at $250,000, but Mrs. Feinstein and others — including the president — have bent on that figure in an effort to attract Republican support.

“What makes this government work is compromise. I could certainly live with it,” she said, also appearing on “Fox News Sunday.”

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