Area lawmakers react to 'fiscal cliff'

GREEN BAY — The looming so-called “fiscal cliff” is weighing on Northeast Wisconsin's heavily Republican representation in Washington.

"The impact to the U.S economy would be too devastating for some kind of compromise not to happen," explained Representative Reid Ribble (R-8th District). "And for compromise to happen, both sides need to give up on something."

"We know the time for political posturing is over," said Representative Tom Petri (R-6th District) during a phone interview.

President Barack Obama says he wants the House to pass a bill to extend tax cuts to middle class.

A bill he says has already passed the Senate, but Republican Representative Petri feels there needs to be a more comprehensive approach.

"That means really doing a big agreement and not trying to do it piecemeal," Petri said.

And when it comes to the president refusing to back down on increased taxes for the wealthy, Republican Senator Ron Johnson says that's no way to cut a deal.

"His idea of compromise is either his way or the highway," Johnson said. "The compromise would be no, lets extend everybody's tax rates and levels and let's work together in 2013 when we actually have some time to work on pro-growth tax policies."

Outgoing Democratic Senator Herb Kohl did not answer our requests for comment.

However fellow Democrat, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan sent us a statement supporting the president.

He wrote: "Republicans should back away from the rigid ideology that has kept us from reaching agreement on these important issues and join with Democrats in avoiding damaging budget cuts and tax increases on the middle class."

Lawmakers hope to begin talks as soon as possible.

The president invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week for negotiations.

Copyright 2014 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
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