Sen. Cardin: ‘The ball is in the Republican court’

Updated

Today on Jansing & Co. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said that “the ball is in the Republican court” when it comes to the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Cardin continued, “We’ve already enacted over a trillion dollars of spending cuts, since the Bowles-Simpson recommendation came out. So we’ve done a billion dollars in spending cuts.”

Chris Jansing pressed him, pointing out that part of Republicans concerns right now include a baseline number for cuts. Some Democrats are trying to count spending cuts that have already been made into the deal to solve the current fiscal cliff.

Jansing says, “The Republicans are saying you can’t add that in, you can’t get credit for that now. We have to start from zero.”

“No, wait a minute,” Cardin shot back, “That spending caps apply not to just this year but out in the future. So we have enacted discretionary, controlled spending, that will bring real savings. The next piece needs to be the bill that we passed over to the House that provides the tax certainty to the taxpayers of this country, for the first $250,000 of taxable income.  That is the next major piece.”

Cardin said Congress needs to go beyond just taxes in any deal, but re-iterated, “But to say the ball’s in the president’s court is just not accurate, the ball is in the Republican’s court. They need to move forward on the tax piece  that is the next piece that needs to be agreed to.”

When it comes to the negotiations, the president spoke with Speaker John Boehner by phone Tuesday night. The call was said to be “tense” and lasted just 15 minutes.

During an interview with Barbara Walters that aired on ABC’s World New Tonight, Obama said, “The most important thing we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes do not go up on January 1st, and I’m pretty confident that Republicans will not hold middle-class taxes hostage to try to protect tax cuts for high income individuals.”

At the same time, Boehner insisted he’s still waiting for the president to identify spending cuts as part of a balanced approach.

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Sen. Cardin: 'The ball is in the Republican court'

Updated