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Senator Patty Murray says going over the 'fiscal cliff' is an option

Now that the election is over, Washington, D.C. has turned its focus to averting the so-called fiscal cliff. But Washington Senator Patty Murray says going over the cliff should be an option.

The fiscal cliff refers to the Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year and the deep spending cuts that will take place. Senator Murray has been saying for some time now that Democrats shouldn’t be too afraid of the fiscal cliff.

In an interview Monday at a trade conference in Seattle, Murray says she’s pleased some Republicans are now talking about raising revenue. But she says that has to mean higher tax rates for the rich, not just closing loopholes and deductions.

"That to me is not what we’re talking about," Murray said. "We’re talking about making sure that those people who have had a tax break at the very top, the top two percent wealthiest Americans who make more than $250,000 a year, pay their fair share so we don’t have the deep impact cuts that would occur if we don’t have that revenue."

Those cuts would include slashing defense spending and money for social services.

Republicans have criticized Murray’s tough tone, saying she’s willing to risk sending the country back into recession.

Murray says she thinks if there’s no compromise on the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, a deal could come quickly after January 1st – a deal that she hopes would be a fairer tax system with the rich paying a greater share.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.