AUBURN | U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna met with constituents at his district office Monday, while a few activists stood outside and called on the congressman to support ending income tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year.
Before the start of his open door meeting, Hanna stepped outside and talked to the activists representing Citizen Action of New York.
Mary Clark, regional director for Citizen Action of New York, said the group wanted to deliver a message to Hanna that they want him to support ending tax cuts for high-income earners.
"What we're trying to say today is that we're really asking to raise taxes on the '2 percent,'" Clark said. "We don't think it's fair that the richest of Americans have not been asked to sacrifice at all."
The ongoing talks regarding the fiscal cliff include discussions about whether the so-called Bush tax cuts should expire. Some liberal groups and Democrats would like to see the cuts end for those making more than $250,000 annually, while conservatives and most Republicans argue that ending those tax breaks would hurt the economy.
Hanna said in an interview Monday that he doesn't want to hinder the ongoing talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
"I certainly don't want to get out in front of John Boehner and try and negotiate it," he said. "Other people in the party have done that. It's a mistake. He's been picked by the majority of people in the (Republican Party) to lead. These things can blow up in your face by individual members getting out there and saying inappropriate or just off-the-cuff comments. It's not helpful."
Hanna believes a deal will be reached to avoid the fiscal cliff, but in a way that "pushes a lot of big decisions down the road."
Aside from addressing the fiscal cliff, Hanna spent more than an hour meeting with constituents. Some of the visitors talked policy or asked questions about their casework, while others stopped in and thanked Hanna for his service to the area at the "farewell" meeting.
Beginning in January, Hanna will represent the newly drawn 22nd Congressional District. The district includes all or parts of eight counties, but Cayuga County isn't one of them.
Hanna said he will miss representing Auburn and lauded Auburn Mayor Michael Quill for being a "good guy."
He also praised some of the eateries in the area.
"I like Auburn because it's one of the only places around where there's great restaurants," he said. "You walk across (Genesee Street) and there's wonderful food."
With Hanna moving on to a new district, Auburn and Cayuga County will be represented by Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt.
Maffei was elected in November to represent the new 24th Congressional District. The district includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties, plus western Oswego County.
Maffei will have an office in Auburn. Hanna said Monday that he offered Maffei the Genesee Street office space, but it's unclear if Maffei will use that space or find a new home for his Auburn district office.