A top House Republican insisted the Obama administration's goal in the fiscal cliff talks was to get more money for spending rather than deficit reduction.
Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., contended the White House's insistence on higher taxes for wealthy Americans was accompanied by plans to actually increase government spending at a time when major cuts were vital.
"We have spent all this time talking about revenue, but as we watched, our government continued to spend more," McCarthy said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This is really about spending."
McCarthy accused Obama of ignoring constructive ideas from the Republicans and banking on post-election campaigning in order to build public support for his approach.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., countered the Democrats had already agreed to significant spending cuts, and said U.S. voters indeed agreed with the president's approach, particularly in terms of taxes for upper-income Americans. "The American people spoke on this issue in the election. I'd say to House Speaker (John) Boehner and Congressman McCarthy, listen to what the American people said in the election."
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