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Rep. Cole remains optimistic on deal to avoid the 'fiscal cliff'

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said on Thursday that he believes Congress will be able to reach a deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

"I actually still think there's a chance to get something done and so, you know, these deals usually come together at the last moment. That's what happened on the budget deal, the debt-ceiling deal. I think that's what's going to happen again," said Cole on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown."

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When pressed on why he was "cautiously optimistic" despite many lawmakers' pessimism over the prospects of an agreement, Cole said, "to paraphrase Ronald Reagan — there's so much manure around here, there's got to be a pony someplace."

"At the end of the day, I think, common sense takes over, and nobody wants the taxes on 98 percent of the American people to go up," he said.

The Oklahoma lawmaker was one of the first GOP members of Congress to suggest that maintaining the tax rate for people making less than $250,000 a year should be separated from tax rates on the wealthy.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), also speaking on MSNBC, didn't share his Republican colleague's belief that a deal would be reached.

"To me, it looks like there's no way that there's going to be any deal done — unless there were 230 Tom Coles, then we'd get something done on the Republican side — but unfortunately, I don't think anything can get through the House unless it's able to get a significant number of Democratic votes," said Yarmuth.

Cole argued that a proposal from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that's expected later today will get "tremendous support" from the Republican conference.

"I've never known John Boehner not to have a plan or ideas to how to lead. I think, again, people overlook in this discussion, how much support he had in that caucus ... the Speaker retains a lot of support," said Cole.

Cole told MSNBC that he has "absolutely no worry" that Boehner will be reelected to the Speakership.

"I think he's going to be the Speaker, honestly not for two years, but for four," he said.