Negotiating requires good-faith partners, and compromise means both sides giving a little to get a solution that helps everyone.
But apparently when it comes to the tax-cut debate, some people in D.C. have a different definition of "compromise" and "negotiation."
I'm proud the House did the right thing yesterday and passed tax cuts for every American but not the tax-cut bonus for the wealthiest 2%.
But, as the debate moves to the Senate, Republicans are still refusing to give an inch. They are still holding tax cuts for millions of Americans hostage so that they can deliver a tax-cut bonus to the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Meanwhile, many Democrats seem ready to give up everything -- and get nothing in return.
This is not a winning strategy for us -- and bad policy on an issue too big to lose.
We need to send a message to President Obama and our fellow Democrats: Don't cave. Give the American people the tax cut they deserve.
We started this campaign with a letter demanding John Boehner stop holding middle-class tax cuts hostage in the House. Now we're holding Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to the same standard -- and asking President Obama and the Senate Democrats to accept nothing less.
The American people are on our side. They want to let the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire. They know we need to cut the deficit, and a $700 billion bill for tax cuts for the wealthy makes that nearly impossible.
Right now the Senate has the power to join the House in passing a solution that helps everyone: Extend the tax cuts for everyone on income up to $200,000; and let the bonus tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
And President Obama and Senate Democrats have the power to get a real compromise, and get the American people the middle-class tax cut our economy needs.
But first we have to stop offering up our own surrender as a negotiating position -- and start insisting on a little more good faith compromise and a lot less political gamesmanship from the Republicans.
Negotiation on tough issues is a requirement of this job, but we can no longer call it a negotiation if we're the only ones giving anything up.
Follow Rep. Jay Inslee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JayInslee