WASHINGTON – As the country edges closer to the “fiscal cliff,” lawmakers continue to bicker over raising revenue and cutting entitlement programs. Some in Washington see the looming deadline as a wake-up call to Congress and the White House to reach a compromise before the end of the year.
Speaking to WTOP Friday morning, Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican, says neither side can afford to take a hard line.
“I never signed the Grover Norquist tax pledge,” he says, referring to a pact signed by some lawmakers to oppose tax increases. “I think the Grover Norquist pledge is a mistake.”
“The way to come out of this is basically the outline of the Simpson-Bowles commission,” he says of the bipartisan plan to reduce the federal deficit by nearly $4 trillion.
Because the president appointed the 2010 commission, it would be a “failure” to walk away from it, Wolf says.
According to a recent WTOP Beltway poll, 78 percent of local residents favor some kind of comprise between Republican and Democrats, a figure that doesn’t surprise the congressman. But what about his fellow lawmakers?
“I think the majority know that we’re going to have to have additional revenue, but we’re also going to have to have entitlement reforms … and some of them are going to be difficult,” he says.
Congress has until the end of December to settle on a deal before last year’s temporary tax cuts expire.