Harkin Calls on Democrats to Block Cliff Deal

Hoyer also balks as GOP starts calling it 'inconsequential'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 31, 2012 11:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Rank-and-file Republicans aren't the only ones who could deep-six a fiscal cliff compromise. Tom Harkin today called on Democrats to reject the deal, furious over President Obama's apparent willingness to up his tax threshold to $450,000. "They think Republicans may object? We may object," the Iowa senator told CNN today, before going to the Senate floor and urging Democrats to do just that. "The deal must be one that really does favor the middle class, the real middle class, those making 30, 50, 60, 70 thousand dollars a year," he said. "I have said before no deal is better than a bad deal, and this looks like a very bad deal the way this is shaping up." In other lawmakers-on-TV news:

  • Steny Hoyer was sizing up Harkin's bandwagon, telling Politico that "I frankly am not enthusiastic about the compromise being talked about today.” While "nobody wants to go over this cliff," Hoyer seemed to indicate that the White House was compromising too much.
  • Bob Corker made some waves on MSNBC today, by declaring that "whatever happens today is really inconsequential. It really doesn't matter." The Tennessee Republican later clarified for Politico that he meant that the deal might have an impact on the economy, but it "isn't going to have an impact on long-term deficits."
  • Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, again predicted that Obama would prevail, but dismissed that as "a political victory that is hollow in nature," and would fail to address the country's deficit woes, he told CNN. He called Obama "small-minded" saying, "I find him to be a hard guy to know and understand."

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa pauses as he talks about the fiscal cliff with reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa pauses as he talks about the fiscal cliff with reporters, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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