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U.S. Rep. John Dingell Calls for Cooperation in Face of Fiscal Cliff

Tax hikes on U.S. residents and federal budget cuts are on the line with Jan. 1 deadline.

Weeks of debate has not yielded a compromise in Congress as the federal government approaches the "fiscal cliff," and U.S. Rep. John Dingell publicly called for compromise over the weekend.

Never one to mince words, Dingell—who is approaching his 30th term in the U.S. House of Representatives—in a statement referred to the body as "one of the most unsuccessful Congresses in history, noteworthy not only for its failure to accomplish anything of importance, but also for the poisonous climate of the institution."

The "Bush era" tax cuts, including payroll and business cuts, were set to come to an end at midnight Monday. In addition, $100 billion in spending cuts will be enacted.

According to the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Sunday that there was still "significant distance" between Democrat and Republican plans.

Dingell, in a statement, called on Congress to "come together determined to share effort and resolve in good will to address the economic problems about to be exasperated by our previous inaction."

“We can and must reduce spending—on this we all agree," he said. "Let us, Republicans and Democrats alike, support reduced taxes on all income below $400,000 and allow that to be an important element in the solution."

"And as we go into the New Year, this must be the moment when we remind ourselves of the values and love of this country that we all share, instead of consistently focusing on what divides us," he added. "I have been fortunate enough to witness many historical moments in this nation's history—good and bad. We are at a critical time and this needs to be a moment in which Democrats and Republicans act not as partisans but as patriots.”

Learn more about the fiscal cliff.

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