Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl said Sunday dire consequences will result if Congress fails to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff Dec. 31.
Kyl, of Arizona, said 1 million jobs will evaporate, spiking the unemployment rate to 9 percent, “putting us back in recession.”
“Responsible people on both sides of the aisle do need to try to come together, and there is a significant effort under way right now,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Kyl said he and fellow Republicans oppose raising income taxes on those earning annual salaries of $200,000 and above because it would discourage economic growth.
“The more people you sweep up in this big tax increase, the worse it’s going to be for the economy, the worse it’s going to be for small business, and most importantly, the worse it’s going to be for workers,” he said. “The way to economic recovery and growth is not by raising tax rates on the very people that employ the workers you want to keep working.”
Kyl said a “good opportunity” exists for both sides to come to a compromise in the 11th hour.
“If there is enough in the agreement for Republicans to be able to support it . . . then I think there’s a good opportunity for a majority of Democrats and Republicans in the House to support such a package, and I think a lot of that depends upon whether President [Barack] Obama is willing to compromise this sort of fixation with raising taxes above anybody making $200,000 a year,” he said.
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