(CNN) – Republican lawmakers said Sunday they believe President Barack Obama wants the country to fall off the fiscal cliff for political purposes.
“I think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. He gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. He gets to cut the military, which Democrats have been calling for for years and he gets to blame Republicans for it,” Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said on “Fox News Sunday.”
His sentiment was shared by Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina.
“I believed from the very beginning and continue to believe that the president has no interest at all in not going over the cliff,” Mulvaney told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on “State of the Union.” “He wants to go over the cliff. Everything I've looked at and seen out of the White House.”
It’s a point Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, took issue with on Fox.
“This conversation to me is exactly what’s wrong in Washington,” Conrad countered. “It’s he said, she said, blame the other guy.”
But it’s this type of partisan back and fourth which has fiscal cliff negotiations stalled and has put the country on the precipice of a potential economic crisis.
Still, Barrasso said there’s time yet for a breakthrough when both Congress and the president return to Washington after the Christmas holiday.
“I don’t want us to go over the cliff, I want to find a solution,” Barrasso said. “I think there’s still time. We’re coming back here on the 27th.”
December 27th that is - leaving lawmakers just five days for negotiations before the country falls off the fiscal cliff.
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