REP. STEVE ISRAEL: The President has never wavered from what he said when the Republicans first brought us to the cliff in the first debate over the debt ceiling. He said he wants a plan that is big, bold and balanced. We were ready to sign on the dotted line for a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan a year ago. The problem was that it was a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy, and the Republicans wouldn’t give us a nickel of tax increases on the wealthy. I think the President is in a much stronger position now after this election. He campaigned relentlessly on the notion of asking the wealthiest to pay a little more, so he is in a better place, but at the end of the day, we understand there’s going to have to be a compromise. Let me just say I think the $250,000 figure is a little too low. If you’re in a high cost-of-living area like Long Island, it ought to be harder. But I’m not willing to tell all of my constituents who earn below $250,000 that their taxes are going to go up, because I held out for a deal for people at $400,000. Let’s do the $250,000. We’re going back to Washington today. We can pass that bill today. Everybody gets a tax cut up to $250,000.