Mixed mandate from election means both sides have to compromise on taxes and spending, Barr says

11/21/2012 10:59 AM

Republican Congressman-Elect Andy Barr said he interprets the results of the November election as a mixed message on how to tackle the government’s growing debt, which means both parties will have to give a little.

“Both sides have got to reciprocate. The president has got to come toward us. We’ve got to come to the president. The American people deserve it. And we have no choice,” he said. (5:40)

Barr echoed U.S. House Speaker John Boehner who said that raising revenue should be part of the solution — just not raising taxes. Accomplishing that can be done by closing loopholes and limiting tax breaks. Watch the interview to see what groups or industries or deductions should or shouldn’t be affected in Barr’s opinion (starting at 7:00 of the interview).

After spending last week in Washington for the first part of his orientation, Barr said he doesn’t expect the lame-duck Congress to address all of the components that make up the fiscal cliff — a mix of mandatory spending cuts and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. Instead, he foresees Congress passing “a bridge” to 2013. Translation: Kicking the can down the road, as politicians like to say.

“I just don’t see a real major change in policy taking place in either mandatory spending restraint or comprehensive tax reform in a Congress that’s outgoing,” Barr said (0:30).

Barr said the next Congress will likely have to make deeper spending cuts than what the mandatory sequestration calls for (1:00) as well as reform programs like Medicare and make changes to the federal tax code (1:30).

“I campaigned against raising taxes and they’ve sent me to Washington to deal with these problems. But the broader electorate around the country re-elected President Obama, who has called for raising taxes” on those making $250,000 or more, Barr said (4:00).

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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