A U.S. Senator from Texas has responded to Democrats’ threats to go over the “fiscal cliff” if Republicans in Washington don’t let go of opposition of higher taxes for wealthier taxpayers.

According to the Washington Post, the Democrats have expressed willingness to let “nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts” expire in January if the GOP lawmakers keep opposing higher taxes for families making more than $250,000 per year.

Republican Senator John Cornyn weighed in on the Democrats’ threats, saying “It simply amazes and discourages me that some people are willing to play chicken with our economy and our national security in such a cavalier, calculated sort of way.”

The Washington Post reports that Democrat Senator Patty Murray of Washington has threatened to send the nation off the “fiscal cliff,” which contains the Bush tax cuts, payroll tax cuts, and many different tax credits and tax reductions.

Cornyn continued, saying “And when my colleague from Washington makes rash statements, threatening our country with a recession unless this side of the aisle agrees to tax increases that will fall disproportionately on the job creators in this country – that is not the kind of cool deliberation, or common-sense coming together we need when it comes to solving our nation’s biggest economic problems.”

If these expire completely, the Congressional Budget Office says that the “total effect of these provisions is a 3.9 percent reduction in the growth rate of GDP next year – enough to make the year’s total growth rate negative, plunging the country back into recession,” according to Dylan Matthews with the Washington Post.

Video of Cornyn’s floor speech is included below. The Washington Post's full story is available here.