U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he hopes a meeting at the White House today with Congressional leaders will open up the dialogue on the fiscal cliff. (B Corbin/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he thinks the nation can avoid the fiscal cliff, but it will take all members of Congress working together.
Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year. Republicans want to extend all the tax cuts. Democrats want to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. President Obama has said he will veto any extension of tax cuts for the rich.
"The folks at the higher end of it, who have been blessed with success in this great nation can pay a little more, that's not unreasonable," Durbin said.
Last week, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said this is the moment for President Obama to lead. But, he said Republicans will not raise any taxes to avert the fiscal cliff.
Durbin said the Senate has to work in a bipartisan matter and thinks the U.S. House should as well.
"To say it's my way or the highway, take it or leave it, it's the same baloney we've gone through for the past two years," Durbin said. "We can't do that. We owe it to the American people to come up with a solution. And, the solution has to be something that's fair to everybody."
President Obama is hosting a bipartisan summit with congressional leaders at the White House today. Durbin said he opens that opens up the dialogue.
"We're going to break probably late today, be gone for Thanksgiving week and then return. We have three weeks. That's enough, it's enough time to at least move forward on this so we can avoid this cliff," Durbin said.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.