Sen. Corker: "Rip the band-aid off" and solve the "fiscal cliff"

Sen. Corker: "I'm not obligated" on tax pledge
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker speaks to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about the nearing deadline to reach a compromise and avoid the fiscal cliff.

(CBS News) As Congress returns to Washington this week with a renewed focus on the fiscal cliff, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said on "CBS This Morning" that Congress has no reason not to act.

"No Congress in history is more prepared to make these decisions," he said, referring to the legislative body's major negotiations over the past two years to raise the debt ceiling and reduce spending. "We've litigated this; we've gone through every single score of every single decision that would have to be made."

The member of the Senate Banking Committee also wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post today, where he said, "The fiscal cliff is a deadline of the 112th Congress' making" and that "kicking the can down the road... is misguided and irresponsible and shows a total lack of courage. "

"What it takes is political courage," Corker said on "CBS This Morning."

Corker drafted a bill to cut $4.5 trillion from the deficit. It includes $1 trillion in revenue and reforms to entitlements programs Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

"I don't know a Republican who has written a bill that has a trillion dollars in revenue... but it's coupled with real entitlement reform," Corker said. He said his bill shows that "this is a very easy thing to do technically."

"It takes two parties that are willing to sit down and really make this happen," he said. "The easiest and best thing we can do is rip the band-aid off, make the tough decisions."

Meanwhile, CBS News' White House Correspondent, Major Garrett, reported that some Republicans are softening their strict anti-tax stances. He points to comments made by Republicans on the Sunday political talk shows, including Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

"I don't want to prejudge any of this, I just listen, the bottom line is we cannot have sequestration. We can't go off the fiscal cliff. We have to show the world we're adults, the election is over," King said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Garrett also reported that entitlement reforms are going to be another difficult aspect of the fiscal cliff negotiations, and that Democrats are cautious, including Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who appeared on ABC's "This Week."

"My concern about raising that Medicare retirement age is there will be gaps in coverage or coverage that's way too expensive for seniors to purchase," Durbin said.