Local lawmakers talk 'fiscal cliff' as Congress begins Christmas break - KMOV.com

Local lawmakers talk 'fiscal cliff' as Congress begins Christmas break

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Arriving at Lambert Airport for the start of their Christmas break, some local Congress members spoke with News 4 about efforts to save the nation from the looming "fiscal cliff."

Congressman John Shimkus said he has no apologies for coming home amid stalled tax negotiations.

"This was 'Plan B.' People ask where is 'Plan C?' There is no 'Plan C,'" Shimkus said. "But citizens look at this and say, 'If this is so serious, why aren't they staying?' Likewise, those questions could be asked of Senator Reid."

All members of Congress are on 48 hours notice to return to Capitol Hill if necessary. Conservatives rejected a plan last night that would have raised taxes on millionaires.

"I had folks calling me, who are conservatives, saying 'don't give an inch,'" Shimkus said.

Congressman Russ Carnahan criticized lawmakers' inability to pass a bill preventing the "fiscal cliff."

"It's really some dysfunctional politics, where people are not willing to step out of their box for the good of the country," Carnahan said.

The Senate adjourned Friday night for the holidays, and the President headed to Hawaii. If no deal is reached before Jan. 1, a package of automatic spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect.

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