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Where local lawmakers stand on fiscal cliff

6:15 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Rush

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - As many Washington lawmakers head home for Christmas without a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, we wanted to know where your lawmakers stand.

NewsChannel 5's Mike Rush tried to track down all the Republican and Democrat members of the House of Representatives that serve the St. Louis area.

We specifically asked them about House Speaker John Boehner's most recent proposal, a compromise that would increase taxes on the rich, but prevent across the board tax increases for 98 percent of taxpayers.

Boehner called off the vote Thursday night saying there were not enough republican votes for it to pass.

All of the local republicans NewsChannel 5 spoke to say while the plan wasn't perfect, they would have voted for it.

"He was trying to come up with something that would at least add some certainty to small business planning for next year and keep the majority of the tax cuts, in fact almost all the tax cuts, from occurring," said Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer.

About republicans not supporting Speaker Boehner's proposal, Democrat Congressman Lacy Clay said, "We have an extreme element of the republican party that run the house that don't believe in compromise."

Just off a plane from Washington and on his way home, Illinois Republican John Shimkus stopped by our Breaking News Center.

He too says he would have voted for Boehner's compromise. He says some of his colleagues would not have because they wanted spending cuts tied in.

Shimkus says he does not think we will avoid the fiscal cliff by the end of the year.

"So, I mean taxes go up on everybody and a huge cut in discretionary spending. Half that coming out of the military and half that coming out of, you know, social services and programs and education and the like," said Shimkus.

Shimkus says in August the house passed a bill that would extend tax rates, preventing them from going up in the New Year. He says the senate should step up, take a look at that bill, amend it if they choose and vote on it.


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