Sioux Falls, SD
Friday was supposed to be congresses last work day before the holidays, but lawmakers still have to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. If there is no progress in the next few days, lawmakers will work through Christmas and the New Year.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for an hour on Thursday and apparently made little progress. Republicans continue to insist on deeper spending cuts and Democrats want to raise taxes on the top two percent of Americans.
Republican U.S. Senator John Thune told us his thoughts after he spoke to government students at Sioux Falls Christian on Friday. Many of the students had questions about the fiscal cliff and what happens if we do not reach a solution.
"Hopefully as we get up against the deadline, the holidays, that will create additional incentive for us to get something done that will be good for the country," Thune said.
Thune said Republican's don't want Obama's proposal to continue middle-class tax cuts and allow tax breaks for the wealthy to expire. He said tax hikes will hurt small businesses.
"So, you've got 40 some million middle-class Americans who work for small businesses who are going to see their taxes go up. That's bad for the economy," Thune said.
While at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem shared her frustration.
"This isn't how things should operate. I'm disappointed in it, but when I've seen what's happened in Washington, D.C., since I've been there the last couple of years, this seems to be par for the course," Kristi Noem said.
Noem said the House has looked at these issues and said the Senate and the President need to step up.
"Unfortunately it takes a hard deadline to get people serious to have those talks that need to happen. Hopefully we'll have a resolution soon that will give people in South Dakota and across the country some certainty on where we're going as far as paying down the debt," Noem said.
KELOLAND News reached out to Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, but nobody on his staff returned our calls.