U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said he is willing to give ground on the income threshold for tax increases in a deal to solve the fiscal cliff.
Walz said he thinks raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 a year is fair, but he's willing to compromise on $400,000 -- a number he says is now being discussed among lawmakers. Walz said he has told House Speaker John Boehner he is ready to cooperate.
"There's been quite a few of us trying to send both publicly and privately -- not really covert signals, very overt -- if you need the votes, there's going to be some of us there for you," Walz said. "The speaker may just bring it up, get this thing through, and lead and have some of us go with him. And there's be a bipartisan group of maybe 280 that say, 'Yeah, we'll do it.'"
Walz planned to return to Washington on Sunday for a Democratic briefing and said he is optimistic there will soon be a deal on the House floor.
He added there's a chance that a deal will include a short-term farm bill extension that will keep dairy prices from skyrocketing.
"This is up to us to get this done, and yes, there's healthy ideological differences but, man, it's got to end at some point. And it's just got to be 'get it done,'" he said. "So as far as the farm bill goes, I think we'll avert that ... but then come back maybe in a calmer setting and get the long-term bill done early in the year."
Walz said that while he's ready to compromise on many aspects of a deal to resolve the fiscal cliff, he will fight to eliminate cuts to the military health care system.
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