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U.S. Rep. Bill Owens.
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens.

Owens says increased gov revenue critical, flexible on details

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President Barack Obama is holding firm to his campaign promise to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the top two percent of earners in America.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens agrees increased revenue is a critical ingredient to any deal. But he says he's flexible on how that should happen.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

"We know what the numbers are in terms of revenue, vis-à-vis what would happen if you allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire for those making 250,000," Owens said.

"How specifically we get there I'm less concerned with, as long as those in those higher income brackets, those top two percent, are in fact making a more significant contribution."

The Democrat says it's the Republicans' turn to lay out exactly how they'd increase revenue. Owens says he supports a centrist approach that includes spending cuts, including $50 to $70 billion in savings to Medicare through various policy changes.

Owens says he wasn't surprised by Governor Cuomo's request for $41 billion in federal funds to help New York City recover from Hurricane Sandy. He says it's Cuomo's job to aim high. "He represents the people of the state of New York. He's doing his job by saying 'this is what our estimate is.' Now we have to sit down and negotiate to see how much we can help him."

Owens acknowledges, given the federal government's own fiscal problems, it's a lot of money to ask for. He says he's "hopeful" to reach "a substantial portion of that".

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