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Washington D.C. –  House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press with David Gregory” to debate the fiscal cliff with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL):

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On Republicans Not Wanting To Wait To Solve The Problem:

“The President wants the rates to go up, but that doesn’t solve the problem. We don’t want to be back here in another year, or ten years answering the same questions. Right after the election, we sent a plan to the President where we gave revenues, but we were looking for spending cuts. He took three weeks to come back to us with his proposal. But you have to understand, Republicans have not waited to solve this problem. In the summer, we passed a bill that froze the tax rates, prevented sequestration and passed it. It went and just sat in the senate. We want to solve this problem and we think this is our moment, this is our time. Raising tax rates doesn’t solve the problem. If the President is asking for higher rates, he is asking for more revenue. Most economists agree the best way to get that is through closing special loopholes. When you close those, it makes for a fairer tax process so people invest on the return, not based upon what the IRS says.”

On Washington’s Spending Problem:

“Let me tell you what the Republican goal is; It is to solve the problem, the economic problem. Look, the numbers don’t lie. We are two months into this fiscal year, and we already have a $292 billion deficit. But in those two months, revenues have increased by 10% to $30 billion. You only get $31 billion in the first year when you raise those two rates, but you know what the problem is? We increased spending by 16% so far this fiscal year to $87 billion. This is more about a spending problem, not a taxing problem. That’s the problem with Washington. The president wants to increase taxes to continue the spending. He proposed a plan that included more stimulus that added more than the top two rates’ would produce in the first year. That’s the problem with Washington.”

On Why Raising Marginal Tax Rates Hurts the Economy:

“If you close special interest loopholes, you have a fairer process. Those listening today, they don’t have a lobbyist, some attorney, some high-priced accountant or special interest out there. The want a fair process so that they know when they go fill out their taxes, others aren’t getting special loopholes. That is a more efficient way and a fairer way and it also makes you invest your money not based on what the IRS says but based upon an economy. This will grow the economy stronger as there will be more taxpayers and more workers produces more revenue.”

On Protecting Small Business Owners From Massive Tax Increases:

“I would ask the Senator; just do the math. If you go to a small family-owned business in Bakersfield, California, that hires my friends, hires my neighbors, with the new tax rate they pay 37%, 39% –  In California, add another 13.8%. Is it fair that any American pays more than half of their earned income into taxes? … Is that we’re asking that. Or should we make a more efficient, more accountable government? the spending is the issue, senator. The President has offered a plan that you didn’t even vote for.”

On “The Core Of The Problem”: Democrats Want To Raise Taxes Just To Spend More Money:

“The President says he wants to raise tax rates because he wants revenue. Republicans have already offered him revenue. The President also says he wants a balanced approach – that means 2.5 to 3 times as many spending cuts as there is revenue. we have spent all of this time talking about revenue, but as we’re watching, our government continued to spend more. this is really about spending. You listen to the Senator right there, he doesn’t want to move on spending. and that’s the core of the problem.”

On The Need For The President To Show The Leadership That Reagan & Clinton Did In Order To Solve The Problem:

“I don’t think Republicans or Americans want to raise any taxes just to continue the spending in Washington. They want a more efficient, more effective, and more accountable government. What we’re saying here is we need to do exactly what Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill – show leadership, get in the room and make the changes. Same as Bill Clinton did with Newt Gingrich – get in the room, and make the changes that are needed to make this. Look, we faced bigger problems before, and we have been able to overcome them. I believe we can do this one more time.”

On Whether The President Is Truly Committed To Solving The Problem With House Republicans:

“Then Senator, ask the president to come off the campaign trail. He’s been to Pennsylvania. tomorrow he is going to Detroit. It’s time to govern. The election is over. That’s why Republicans sent the President a plan the day after the election. [Durbin interjects: “The President is just a phone call away…”] …. Oh, he is a phone call away?! We will go right down to him. We sent a plan to him and it took three weeks for him to respond. He has not even responded to our current one. You cannot negotiate with yourself.”