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Tennessee politicians debate fiscal cliff

The fiscal cliff deadline looms just five days away, and U.S. Representatives are leaving Christmas in Tennessee to head back to Washington.

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2012 file photo, fog obscures the Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington. Big tax increases will hit millions of families and businesses a lot sooner than many realize if Congress and the White House don't agree on a plan to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and government spending cuts. In fact, they already have. More than 70 tax breaks enjoyed by individuals and businesses already expired at the beginning of this year. If Congress doesn't extend them, a typical middle class family could get a $4,000 tax hike when they file their 2012 returns next spring, according to a private analysis. At the same time, businesses could lose dozens of tax breaks they have enjoyed for years. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The fiscal cliff deadline looms just five days away, and U.S. Representatives are leaving Christmas in Tennessee to head back to Washington.

As tax hikes are threatened, compromise is on the minds of many in D.C. and all across America.

When asked about where to compromise, Representative Chuck Fleischmann told Local 8 News "You can use the term compromise, but I'm going to take the term fiscal discipline from the White House, from the Senate, from the House of Representatives. Candidly, I think the only body that has demonstrated over the past two years fiscal discipline is the House of Representatives."

He went on to say, "When we talk about compromise, you've gotta look at the cold hard facts. And that we're spending money we don't have. We're defecit spending. We're borrowing 42 to 43 cents of every dollar that we spend. So it's no longer tax and spend. It's borrow and spend. And it's destroying this nation."

After a conference call with House Speaker John Boehner, Local 8 News spoke with Representative Scott DesJarlais.

He emphasized the need to focus on reform, not finding an end to an "uncomfortable situation."

"I believe we need comprehensive tax reform that would look at cutting loopholes for everyone and generate increased revenue, but right now we have a federal government that spends too much and wastes money through fraud and abuse and for the tax payer... any tax payer to pay a dime more right now is unthinkable until the federal government acts responsible in the way they spend," said DesJarlais.

Congress has until January 1st to reach an agreement.


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