February 10, 2016

Blunt not as optimistic as McCaskill that deal can be reached to keep U.S. from falling off fiscal cliff (AUDIO)

Senators Blunt and McCaskill disagree on how to keep the country from careening off the fiscal cliff, but both admit the burden falls squarely on the shoulders of two men for now.

Senator Blunt says he’s frustrated with the lack of progress on reaching a budget deal, and says Democrats aren’t being realistic about what needs to happen to avoid economic ruin. Senator McCaskill says Representative John Boehner and President Obama are both going to have to make some major concessions to reach a deal, but says she’s confident that will happen.

Blunt isn’t that optimistic, and says he plans to be spending the holidays in Washington as the two parties try to hammer out a compromise. Right now, Democrats want tax increases, Republicans want spending cuts, and the two parties haven’t been willing to budge to meet in the middle. Congress has until the end of the year to come up with a solution.

McCaskill says it’s going to some give and take on both sides, with Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democrat President Obama discussing the details. She says she, too, is part of many conversations that are bipartisan to work towards a solution.

Senator Blunt says Democrats keep focusing on increasing taxes on the top two percent, but says it won’t really solve the nation’s looming financial crisis. He says the federal government’s spending has increased 100 percent in the last decade, in which there wasn’t much inflation. Blunt says the American people know that means there’s a spending problem, but the federal government doesn’t see it.

AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:28)