Written by Charlotte Eriksen
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06) Friday appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" to discuss how to avoid the "fiscal cliff" in 2013.
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He said House Republicans want to cut spending and avert the cliff, and that the House has already acted on the issues by arguing to extend current rates for a year as a bridge to tax reform, according to a press release.
Starting Jan. 2, about $600 billion in tax increases and spending reductions would begin if Congress does not agree on how to implement less extreme measures, according to CNBC.
Payroll taxes would increase to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, dividends would be taxed as income and estates worth more than $1 million would be taxed at 55 percent, according to a Reuters report.
Roskam said the House has already offered an alternative to sequestration. "Now, the debate shifted to wait for the president and what he might propose, but the lion's share of the administration's argument so far has been all on the revenue side. And the president's own admission he said, ‘Look, there has to be a 3 to 1 ratio,’ – three dollars in cuts to every one dollar in revenue."
The White House has not come forward with anything as it relates to the "cutting side," Roskam said. House Republicans want to see the president lead on the spending side, he said.
President Obama has an "unbelievable" opportunity to be a transformational president, Roskam said. "There is nobody that's defending the current tax code. There's no voice that's out there saying that the current tax code is great. Instead, what the president can do is say, 'I don't want to litigate the old tax code.' Let's bridge this now and move and have a transformational tax code."
Roskam, who served with Obama in the State Senate in Illinois, said he has seen him move beyond "traditional donkeys and elephants" on some controversial issues.
"I think the country is really interested in presidential leadership. He's talked a lot on the tax side. We need to hear more from the White House in terms of where these spending cuts are in order to gain a level of confidence among House Republicans, who also won big majorities last Tuesday," he said.
Information courtesy of a press release from Peter Roskam's Office.