Fiscal cliff negotiators are intentionally dragging the talks out to the last minute and will then give legislators a take-it-or-leave-it option with little chance for their own input, outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint has charged.
And he accused President Barack Obama of wanting to take the country over the cliff so everyone will have to pay higher taxes.
“There’s no transparent, democratic process at all — just a few people in a room — which I think they’ll intentionally draw out until the last day and then drop on us so there’s no time for debate, not only to keep us out of it but to keep the American people out of it,” said the South Carolina Republican.
“It’s a very bad process and we shouldn’t be doing it. It’s very frustrating,” he added, according to The Hill.
DeMint doubled down on his comments during an appearance on CBS' "This Morning" on Thursday. "The president campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the Bush-era tax cuts, and he’s gonna get his wish," he said.
"Everyone is going to pay more taxes next year in this country, and I think that’s what the president wants.
Watch Jim DeMint on CBS. Story continues below.
"We've doubled the size of this government and doubled spending over the last 10 years. This year current revenues at current tax rates will probably be at historic highs and if you look at the facts, we don’t need more revenue, we just need to stop the spending," DeMint told Charlie Rose and Gayle King.
"The president is not going to stop spending. He’s proposed more spending. So it’s hard to work with someone who I think is intentionally trying to take us over this cliff."
DeMint — who is retiring from the Upper Chamber at the end of the month to lead the Heritage Foundation —pointed out to The Hill that George Washington described the Senate as “a cooling saucer,” allowing for thoughtful deliberation on issues.
“There won’t be any time to cool because they’ll wait until the last minute and pop [a deal] on us and say if we don’t vote for it, the whole country is going to collapse under the fiscal cliff,” he said.
DeMint’s comments echo those of other senators who feel they are being left out of the talks which are led by President Barack Obama for the Democrats and House Speaker John Boehner for the GOP.
“Senators talk and pontificate and we have little discussions but I don’t see any of that really impacting the negotiations,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
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