Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after news that the House Republicans have left Washington for Christmas break.
"As we approach the edge of the fiscal cliff, the time for political gamesmanship is over. This isn't about politics, it's about people's lives. The families who live in my neighborhood can't afford to see their taxes go up. The small businesses can't afford a politician-induced recession.
"There are plenty of things that divide Democrats and Republicans, but virtually all of us agree that tax cuts for middle class families should be extended. On the issue of taxes for the super wealthy, we just had an election. Americans told us loud and clear that they wanted an end to the bonus tax breaks for the best off.
"Earlier this year, the Senate passed a bill that would protect the middle class from tax hikes. When the House returns from break, it should take up that bill, pass it, and send it to the President without delay. It is only viable option on the table that protects the middle class and small businesses while we work to avert the other damaging elements of the fiscal cliff."