Ongoing Coverage:
Business
8:06 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Missouri's two US Senators divided on 'fiscal cliff'

Credit selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

Hear Kristofor Husted's newscast wrap, here:

With a looming so-called fiscal cliff and a split of control in Congress, President Barack Obama and federal legislators are under pressure to come to a quick solution. But Missouri’s senators have taken sides over a tax hike in the President’s plan.

When it comes to solving the fiscal cliff problem, the biggest disagreement between Republicans and Democrats in Congress deals with raising the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. Missouri’s two senators have fallen in line with their parties and sit in opposite corners on the issue.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Democrat, says she supports President Barack Obama's insistence that Americans making more than $250,000 should face higher tax rates: “This notion that having the wealthy pay a little more as we address our fiscal imbalance in this country, I just think that is what the majority of people in this country want us to do. I think this election was a referendum in that regard so I’m hopeful many of the senators are willing to keep an open mind.”

But Republican Sen. Roy Blunt says he opposes increasing the tax rates for anyone: “I just don’t think an increase marginal tax rate is the right thing for the economy and neither does anybody else who has had the obligation to look at this.”

If President Obama and Congress don’t reach an agreement before the end of the year, tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush will expire and the alternative minimum tax will kick in for many middle-class families costing them an average $3,700 on their 2012 tax bill.

A recent Pew Research Poll shows that 51 percent of Americans don’t believe a solution will be made and 53 percent would blame the Congressional GOP for that failure.