Posted: Dec 20, 2012 12:11 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - The nation is just days away from falling off the "fiscal cliff," a term that was coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to explain the looming budget cuts and tax increases that will take place at the end of the year if Congress doesn't act.
President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner are still negotiating a deal to fix this fiscal crisis.
"I have gone at least halfway in meeting some of the Republicans' concerns, recognizing that even though we campaigned on these issues, even though the majority of Americans agree with me, that we should be raising taxes on the wealthiest few as a means of reducing the deficit. I have also said that I'm willing to identify some spending cuts that make sense," Obama explained.
The President says the biggest roadblock is getting the rest of the Republican caucus to sign on to the deal. Democrats would like to see tax increases on the wealthy, while Republicans say the fix requires spending cuts.
"I hope the President will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach," Boehner said.
As the only Republican from Montana who will be voting on the fiscal cliff, Congressman Denny Rehberg won't specifically say if he would support a package which includes tax increases. But, he does say the ultimate compromise needs to work for Montana.
Montana senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus says Congress needs to reach a deal which includes both serious spending cuts and asking the wealthy to pay their fair share so they can protect programs like Social Security and Medicare.