Sen. Klobuchar on"fiscal cliff" deal, women in Congress


(CBS News) Democrats and Republicanshave hit stumbling blocks in their attempt avoid the looming "fiscal cliff," but Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., sounded optimistic a deal would be reached.

"The most significant thing is you're starting to see a number of major Republicans ... saying you know what, 'I'm going to be willing to look at revenues in addition to spending cuts.' That's what we need for a compromise here. That's what the president has been pushing for," Klobuchar said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.

For Klobuchar, a compromise would be "a mix of significant spending cuts as well as revenue." She explained that "the way you get a big chunk of revenue ... is extending the middle class tax cuts for people $250,000 and below. You then save $700 billion in 10 years."

Acknowledging that Republicans could be averse to her particular solution, she said, "I don't think you see anyone saying it has to be one plan ... people are open to different plans ... you haven't seen people saying it's my way or no other way"

Klobuchar rejected the notion that congressional leaders are posturing when it comes to negotiations and insisted, "We want to do something significant here, not just pretend that people are doing something."

She added that the urgency to make progress grew out of the recent election, which "demanded such a deal."

"There was a message from the people of this country that they wanted to see a different tone ... people are willing to make compromise ... take tough votes, get things done," she said, adding that the deal has to get done by the end of the year, and larger more comprehensive work on economic issues and the tax system should come in the months after a deal is reached.

The election also ushered in a record-number of female senators, including Klobuchar. Twenty women currently serve as U.S. senators, which Klobuchar calls "enough to cause a traffic jam in the women's Senate bathroom."

Klobuchar said the number is significant in the sense that the Senate should represent the population, but added that "it matters in a much bigger way ... especially now with this intransigence in Congress ... women tend to be problem solvers, we work together," she said.

"They tend to be more focused on accountability. They didn't get there by swaggering around, they got there by getting things done."