December 30th, 2012
01:34 PM ET
1 year ago

Corker says deal will pass, predicts $500,000 threshold

(CNN) - Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee sought to assure Americans on Sunday over the looming fiscal cliff, expressing full confidence that most people won't start off the new year with new taxes.

In an interview on CNN, the Republican senator also predicted the income threshold for tax increases will be at least $500,000 per year, rather than President Barack Obama's proposal of $250,000.

While he's "disgusted with where we are" in the deficit-reduction debate, Corker said "there's no question" that Congress will reach some kind of deal "in the next few days or in the next few weeks."

"I would bet my life that over the next very short period of time (that) 98 to 99% of people in the country are going to be rescued," Corker told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The Senate reconvened on Sunday as leaders and aides worked to hash out a fiscal cliff deal that will pass in both chambers of Congress. One of the main sticking points is a disagreement over who should pay higher tax rates in order to generate more revenue.

While Obama has called for tax increases on incomes above $250,000, discussions have involved the possibility of raising that figure to a $400,000 threshold, along with a push to keep estate taxes low. Democrats have said they might be open to one such scenario, but not both.

Corker, who earlier this month was among the first in his party to support a tax rate increase for the wealthy as part of a deal, said he doubts any compromise will include the $250,000 figure, listing several Democratic senators who he says want a higher number as well.

"My guess is we're going to be ... at least $500,000," he said "My guess is it's going to happen and it's going to pass."

And though it may pass, Corker joined many Republicans in saying that the fiscal debate has lacked serious discussion about "real reductions," such as entitlement reform. "I think that is totally irresponsible."

"We're going to deal with this tax issue," he continued. "We're going to deal with it either before midnight tomorrow or in the next couple of weeks, but nobody in the country - 99%, 98% of the people in the country should not be worried about revenues. But what they should be worried about is we still haven't tackled the issue of fiscal solvency."

– CNN's Josh Levs contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Bob Corker • Fiscal Cliff • Tennessee • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. rs

    Keep protecting and coddling the rich Republicans. We'll remember on November 2014.

    December 30, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. 2012liberal

    Really but couldnt do this 3 months ago. 'plan b' was 1 mil. Didnt even get a vote! Lets not 4get corker is a senator, where their r still ppl w sence. Not so w house! Boehner better start realizing nothing is going 2 happen n congress if he doesnt start imbracing the dems more! They r the only ones that will make him look good.

    December 30, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Gregory Newbold

    $500,000? No Deal. I find it insulting that the Republicans (Lindsey Graham included) think that know that the Democrats (e.g. Feinstein) will go for $400K or higher. This whole episosde will be a proxxy for Democrat negotiating skills.

    December 30, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. souls4jc

    When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that there will be more business discussed other than the "Fiscal Cliff" – I was outraged! The most important issue the congress should be discussing today is the Fiscal Cliff with the clock ticking. This is a prime example of why our country is in the state it is...As far as I'm concerned if a compromise is not reached the President should resign, and so should every member of the Congress, because they are not doing their jobs. If I wasn't doing my job, I'd be fired.
    COMPROMISE: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. an agreement between opposing parties to settle a dispute or reach a settlement in which each gives some ground, rather than continue the dispute or go to trial. Judges encourage compromise and settlement, which is often economically sensible, since it avoids mounting attorneys fees and costs. 2) v. to reach a settlement in which each party gives up some demands.

    December 30, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    No SS, Medicare cuts. Period.

    December 30, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Peter Q Wolfe

    It is my view that 500,00 isn't compromise but a throw in for he G.O.P like usual. Democrats give in too much to the elite because they themselves are the elite an don't represent the rest of us. 300k makes more sense to me or soemthing that puts into account the relivent big cities like NY or San Francisco or something into the picture would be compromise not this bologna.

    December 30, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. judy

    I wouldn't bet anything with the repo trolls in congress. Bunch of idiots that will do what norquist says.

    December 30, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |