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Schumer: compromise is key to avoiding fiscal cliff

The focus in Washington, D.C. is now on the so-called "fiscal cliff," which describes the automatic budget cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year if Congress and the president don't come to an agreement to reduce the deficit.  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is among those saying that the election was a mandate for compromise.Schumer said on NBC's "Meet the Press" this weekend that his fellow Democrats will have to agree to some budget cuts. But the senator also warned that he believes Republicans are going to have to agree to real increases in revenue in the form of tax hikes on the wealthy.

"The president campaigned on letting the Bush tax cuts expire above people for -- of two hundred fifty thousand dollars income," said Schumer.  "He campaigned on it clearly.  He didn’t back off from it.  The exit polls showed that sixty percent of the people agreed with it. "

Schumer also said that he does not see how the math adds up to the required deficit reductions without raising the tax rate for those with the highest incomes. The senator reiterated that he does not want taxes to go up for those who make less than $250,000 a year.

The budget cuts scheduled start automatically at the end of the year if another agreement is not made, include steep cuts in defense spending and entitlements.