NewsNation | November 19, 2012
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>>> we're working on this budget. we're going need ate lot of prayer on that.
>> that was president obama , of course, talking this weekend about efforts to avert that so-called fiscal cliff. the president spoke while touring a monastery in thailand with a buddhist monk , later explaining he believes in prayer and if a buddhist monk is wishing him well, he can take whatever good vibes he can. white house and congressional negotiators planned to hold talks all week while the president is in asia and congress is in recess. new proposals are then expected to be discussed when president obama and congressional leaders meet again next week and after congress returns. got that? that's your calendar. right now house democratic leader nancy pelosi insists there's no deal without tax hikes on the wealthy, while republican leaders stand firm against raising any tax rates .
>> is that something that's acceptable?
>> not at all, no way?
>> nochlt. the president made it clear in his campaign that there are not enough -- what you just described is a formula and a blueprint for hampering our future.
>> tax increases to chase ever-higher spending is a fool's errand. what we need to do is have that balanced approach which is increasing revenues through a process of tax reform and then spending reductions.
>> and joining me now live is democratic congressman john yarmouth of kentucky, a member of the house budget committee . thank you for your time.
>> you heard those two countering opinions on where this is going. i want to throw this in the mix. a short time ago, a couple hours ago house majority whip kevin mccarthy said that nancy pelosi and the president are not on the same page. he referred to even the dollar amount of what is considered wealthy referring to the may proposal from pelosi at a million dollars or more as opposed to 250,000 we're talking about right now. is there divide?
>> i think that right now we see a lot of positioning for the negotiations, but i've been one who has been in line with speaker pelosi or leader pelosi on that for a long time. that there's nothing sacrosakt about the $250,000 number. the white house is very, very strict about that. i think there are a lot of ways that we could negotiate somewhere between that number and incomes over a million dollars a year. i offered an amendment in the budget committee just to raise the tax rates back to clinton era rate on incomes over a million dollars. every republican voted against them. we'd love to talk about another number if the republicans were willing to talk about any number.
>> that is an interesting point there. to further point out in this interview, mr. mccarthy says that pelosi , his words, keeps changing the game plan . what do you make of this assertion that the ball keeps moving as negotiations have just started?
>> well, again, i think we're seeing a lot of posturing now. one of the things that i keep asking of the republicans is, where have they ever taken one step toward us? one inch? they have never been willing to take a step. they say we need to compromise, find middle ground and all that sweet talk. they never move out of their end zone . this is what's been so frustrating about the negotiations. the president put forth a number of proposals last year, two and a half cuts to a dollar in revenues. four dollars to one dollar. they weren't willing to come one dollar, one dime. that's frustrating. the game keeps changes, but i don't think from our side.
>> the plan to attack the immediate issue regarding taxes that go up, and then focus on entitlements and some of the other concessions that may come aahead here? you hear or we hear two lines of thought. people who want to rush this in which seems impossible before the end of the year or take it piecemeal together for something perhaps larger?
>> well, i think, tamron, there are so many elements or issues that have to be resolved. i doubt we can get them done by the end of the year. the senate passed a resolution to the tax issue and we have to vote on that. if speaker boehner can deliver 25, 30 votes, we'd supply the rest of them. there's an easy and quick answer to that. the rest of it, the amt, the farm bill , there are many tax issues besides just the income tax rate we have to resolve, too. i worry about the estate tax done and other ones done if we can, and then push the other matters to next year.
>> thank you so much for your time. we greatly appreciate it. talk with you soon, hopefully. thank you.
>> thank you.