U.S. Senator Roy Blunt tells Missouri reporters negotiations broke down, tempers flared and angry words were spoken as Democrats and Republicans tried to hammer out a solution to the fiscal cliff. He says he’s glad tax rates didn’t roll back to 2001 levels, which would have been devastating for the U.S. economy.
He thinks more angry debate and Congressional gridlock is in store as the debt ceiling approaches in February.
“I think the spending debate will now be pretty furious,” he says “And it would have been better if it were part of a November, early December negotiation. I would expect to see a big spending fight start — in fact it’s probably already started. You know, we’re going to run out of appropriatied money on March 27, we’re going to get to the debt ceiling sometime in late February. We’ve only managed to delay the cuts, the sequester, until late February.”
He says compromise is going to have to be key if anything is going to get accomplished.
“We need to work together,” he says. “The democrats control the senate, the republicans control the house, and the President is the president again … Anybody who thinkls one side can do what they want to do, they’re in for a rough lesson.”
He says Congress should have addressed spending cuts and the debt ceiling two months ago instead of leaving a Congress with 80 new members to figure it out when the deadline is just more than a month away. And he says he’s hopeful the Senate might be able to pass a budget this year … something that hasn’t happened in nearly four years.
Blunt and his democrat counterpart Sen. Claire McCaskill both voted in favor of the budget compromise bill.
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:17)