Fiscal cliff negotiations: all options must be considered

Taxes, entitlement reform negotiations touted

Lawmakers from both the House and Senate said Sunday all options must be considered during fiscal cliff negotiations, as both parties work to try to avoid an economic crisis.

One of the biggest holdups so far during negotiations has been whether or not Republicans will accept tax increases, something President Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders have been pushing for. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said it's a position the GOP needs to give up.

'The key here is whether or not the Republicans with move away from the ideologically rigid position, which has been the Grover Norquist pledge that most of them signed, that they will not go for additional revenues," Levin said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press."

Responding to the charge, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Republicans do have to be open-minded when it comes to negotiations.

"I think everything should be on the table. I myself am opposed to tax increases. The fact is the speaker and the majority leader and the president are going to be in a room trying to find the best package. I'm not going to prejudge it. I'm just saying we should not be taking iron-clad positions," King said on "Meet The Press."

But taxes are far from the only issue. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said on "Fox News Sunday" that entitlement reform has to be a big part of these negotiations.

"Entitlement reform is the only way we are going to really get the debt and deficit under control, and we've got to take it on," McCain said.

King said it's important to get a deal done before the end of the year, not just to avoid the crisis, but to allow lawmakers to work on new issues at the start of a new term.

"Let's find a way to get as much resolved as possible between now and the end of the year, so both the new Congress and the president in his second term can start over with a clean slate," King said.

To do this, King said, it's time for lawmakers to grow up.

"The bottom line is, we can't have sequestration. We can't go off a fiscal cliff. We have to show the world we're adults. The election is over," King said.


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