Duncan offers his solutions to looming fiscal cliff deadline

Duncan offers his solutions to looming fiscal cliff deadline

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"It would cover 99.981 percent of the American people," Congressman Duncan said of John Boehner's Plan B. "Anyone who thinks anyone is trying to protect millionaires or billionaires is completely wrong." "It would cover 99.981 percent of the American people," Congressman Duncan said of John Boehner's Plan B. "Anyone who thinks anyone is trying to protect millionaires or billionaires is completely wrong."

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the so-called fiscal cliff just five days away, many members of the House spent the day on standby as the Senate resumed sessions.

On Thursday, Congressman John Duncan, Jr. offered his insight into when a resolution will be reached and how he thinks it should be handled.

"I think there will be some resolution," said Congressman John Duncan, Jr. "It won't be the so-called grand bargain that was talked about earlier on."

Congressman Duncan was also quick to downplay the hype surrounding the crisis and the term 'fiscal cliff'.

"The federal government has been shut down 17 times in the last 24 or 25 years and most of the time people haven't even noticed that," said Duncan.

Rep. Duncan was among those who supported Speaker Boehner's 'Plan B', which included tax increases on those earning over $1 million a year.

"It would cover 99.981 percent of the American people," said Duncan "Anyone who thinks anyone is trying to protect millionaires or billionaires is completely wrong."

Duncan says the bigger focus needs to be spending cuts. He suggested each federal department and agency be cut by at least 10 percent, including defense.

"I think most of what we have done over the last few years in these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been more about power than they have been about a real threat to the United States," said Duncan.

Many have also avoided touching Medicare in these fiscal talks, but Duncan says there's room for reform there too.

"I'm not saying cut out the program or cut it drastically, but yeah there's cuts that can be made in Medicare," said Duncan.

But Duncan says seeing those cuts by the first of the year or even shortly after is unlikely. He expects a short-term fix that will only delay the big cuts even longer.

Duncan says House members have been told they would receive a 48-hour notice of any upcoming vote, which means the earliest they could resume sessions would be Sunday.

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