WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the House and Senate waited anxiously Friday afternoon as congressional leaders met with President Obama. During that time, Kan. Senator Jerry Moran spoke to 41 Action News by satellite from Capitol Hill.
Moments before the interview, Moran addressed his colleagues on the Senate floor. He called for leadership and common ground in addressing the fiscal cliff crisis.
He then told us compromise may mean raising taxes, but there must be a benefit for the taxpayer on the other side.
“I talk to lots of business folks, including those in the Kansas City area, who would say 'Yes, maybe my tax bill is going to go up, but if I could have the certainty, know the tax code is going to be now and in the future. If we could make the tax code permanent, so I don't have to worry about what congress and the president may or may not do every few months, I will take that certainty over, and my business will flourish and grow,’” Moran said.
41 Action News: "At what level would you be comfortable raising taxes? Is it going to be tied to some benefit as you just said? We're hearing word today that the president and congressional leaders could be talking about a $400,000 threshold, or even as low as $250,000 for a married couple. What would you be comfortable with?"
Sen. Jerry Moran: "You know, I think certainly those numbers are low, but again it is what else is part of the deal? We care a lot in the Midwest about estate taxes, we care a lot about capital gains and dividends, and so in large part, it is determined by the entirety of the agreement."
Unlike many House Republicans, Moran said he is not afraid of reaching across the aisle to support a bipartisan bill, as long as it is the right bill.
“Well I'm interested in common sense and good judgment," Sen. Moran said. "I'm interested in a strong, growing economy. And I don't expect to get everything that I want in a piece of legislation that's now important to the country and its economy. So yes, absolutely, I'm willing to support things that there are give and take.”
Moran says his biggest hope is a permanent solution, not a short term fix.
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Negotiations on Capitol Hill have yielded a modest budget agreement to ease automatic spending cuts and replace some of them with savings from future-year cuts.