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Fiscal-cliff talks frustrate Stutzman

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Monday that he and other members of Congress are frustrated they are not privy to talks for the country to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Stutzman said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" that most lawmakers are "away from all the negotiating and seeing what the Senate is even talking about."

According to media reports, Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were near an agreement on a deal that would avoid automatic tax increases and federal spending reductions that are to take effect with the new year.

"We are very, very close," McConnell said on the Senate floor at 2:49 p.m.

Earlier, President Obama said an agreement "is within sight, but it's not done."

Republican senators later took issue with his remarks about requiring a "balanced" approach between tax increases and spending cuts, with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., contending on the Senate floor that Obama "sent a message of confrontation to the Republicans."

That deal reportedly would raise taxes on annual income of more than $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for married couples and on estates of more than $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples. It also might delay planned spending cuts.

Stutzman told CNBC anchor Sue Herera that his Hoosier constituents "see that something has to change with our spending habits. And that's the big concern with constituents in my district, that we have to deal with spending first before we really should even be talking about tax increases."

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