LAS VEGAS -- Lawmakers have said they hope to avoid automatic tax increases at the New Year, but negotiations aren't showing much progress.
Newly elected Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada explained that closing some tax loopholes could make a deal possible.
"We'll take a look at interest deductions, mortgage deductions," Heller said. "Not necessarily for first time home buyers, but perhaps if you have a second or third home. Number of loopholes out there."
Democrats and Republicans are fighting between Medicare spending cuts and tax increases on wealthier Americans.
Heller told the I-Team he believes both parties have to compromise and not take a hard-line position.
"I've introduced legislation, amendments saying perhaps millionaires and billionaires shouldn't get Medicare, maybe we ought to means test Social Security," Heller said. "The millionaires and billionaires, we ought to take a look at whether they should continue to receive Social Security."
Heller said he is willing to cut spending on defense and weapons programs and at this time, does not want to cut Social Security. He also said he supports ending some tax breaks for large oil companies.
Without a compromise, taxes for everyone goes up and across the board spending cuts kick in Jan. 1.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters Tuesday that it will be difficult to reach a deal by Christmas, but it can be done.