Another week opens with no agreement on Capitol Hill about how to keep the U.S. economy from going over a fiscal cliff with the start of the New Year.
There has been little movement on negotiations since House Republicans rejected a proposal from U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, last week, that included $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other programs and an end to Congressional control of the debt limit.
“That was, hopefully, just an opening gamut, but it was a very poorly played hand,” said First District Congressman David McKinley. He is one of West Virginia’s two Republicans in the U.S. House.
He says, for every dollar in increased revenues generated with any fiscal plan, there should be $2 to $3, or more, in spending cuts. “We have a $1.3 trillion deficit and that has to stop,” Congressman McKinley said.
His fellow West Virginia Republican, Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, agrees. “I think we want to try to solve this. We don’t want to take it all the way to the edge. I don’t think (those in) the American public want that and I don’t think they deserve that.”
She says she thinks the Bush era tax cuts need to be extended for the next year for everyone, allowing time for comprehensive tax reforms.
“Let’s get rid of the loopholes and the special interests, figure out how we’re going to generate more revenue and figure out the significant cutting that we’re going to do,” the Congresswoman said.
President Barack Obama pushed for an extension of those tax cuts for only those making below $250,000 annually during a visit to a toy factory near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Friday.
Congressman McKinley, though, says the President needs to be in Washington. “He needs to be staying back here working daily with us,” he said. “We need the President engaged in this debate.”
He says he’s staying positive even though, as it stands now, the tax cuts are set to expire at the same time large scale spending cuts take effect in just a few weeks. “I still believe, in my heart, we’re not going to go over the cliff,” McKinley said.
Congresswoman Capito agrees. “I’m optimistic about it, but I tend to be that way anyway.”