November 9, 2012

Mass. senator mum on 'fiscal cliff,' committee desires

The Associated Press

BOSTON - Massachusetts U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren sat down with Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday as she prepped for her new job in Washington, but was tight-lipped when quizzed by reporters after the meeting.

Warren declined to say what Senate committees she would like to be assigned to after taking office in January,

She also offered few details about her preferred approach to avoiding the so-called "fiscal cliff" facing the nation.

Speaking after a press conference, Warren indicated that some of her reluctance to go into details was out of deference to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who assigns senators to committees.

"I'm still talking to the leader about it because it's the right thing to do," she said.

Asked again about possible committee assignments, she said, "I'm going to make sure it works for Massachusetts and works for the issues we talked about. I'm going to Washington to fight for working families."

Warren is replacing U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who serves on the Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Veterans' Affairs and Small Business committees.

Warren also conceded that she's trying to show more restraint in talking about some issues now that the election is over. She said she also tried to show some discretion, even as a candidate.

Warren declined to offer many details about what she would support to avoid the "fiscal cliff" -- a one-two punch of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and major across-the-board spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs.

"Right now, I think the parties are involved in negotiations," she said.

Warren said she didn't think across-the-board spending cuts to the military was a good idea, and said the nation has an opportunity to reshape military spending.

Warren talked about being one of 20 women who will be sitting in the Senate in January.

"Let's get serious here, this is 2012 and we're talking 20 percent of the United States Senate is female. That's not an overwhelming number yet," she said.

Warren hasn't always been as reticent about talking about ways to solve the nation's fiscal troubles.

Talking to reporters outside the Broadway MBTA stop in South Boston the morning after her historic win, Warren vowed to tackle the nation's debt by pushing a "balanced approach" of spending cuts and higher taxes on the wealthy.

 

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