Sen. Claire McCaskill is optimistic that Congress will strike a deal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. She told Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday night that her top goal in the lame-duck session is to strike a deal with Republicans over taxes and spending.
Matthews noted that he wanted compromise too, but told McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, that “I don’t think you’re going to get the liberal core of your party…to support anything until they see the vampire bites on the necks of Republicans. Until they see that they’ve taken a piece out of them on high income taxation, are they going to give on entitlements? They’re not going to give.”
The fiscal cliff refers to a package of tax increase and spending cuts that will go into effect in January unless Congress passes a deal. The Dems say they won’t accept a solution unless it includes tax rate increases for America’s wealthiest.
McCaskill said Republicans “need to understand that these tax cuts are going to go away at the end of the year if they don’t get reasonable. And once they go away, then we can come back in and pass tax cuts for the middle class and leave the very wealthy out of that equation.”
“There is pressure here on both sides of the equation,” she insisted.
McCaskill, who won re-election against Todd Akin after he made controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy, said she’d like to see a fiscal solution that included increases in rates for wealthy, some spending cuts, and some sort of means testing for Medicare.
“We don’t need to be buying Donald Trump’s prescription drugs,” she declared.