President Obama wants tax rates to rise on those making more than $250,000 annually, but in talks with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was willing to move to $400,000 for the higher taxes.
While Snowe bemoaned "ideological and political and philosophical stubbornness," the Maine lawmaker said she remained optimistic that Republican leaders could get their caucuses to rally behind a deal.
"It’s going to require the leaders to talk to their caucuses and talk to these individual members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and understanding and underscoring the peril we place in the country at this moment in time and that we have to resolve these issues," Snowe said.
Snowe also insisted it was important to "demonstrate we have some capacity left to make decisions in Washington on these very significant issues for the country."
"I think it has to begin in the Senate, and if we can get it past passed in the Senate, send it to the House, and hopefully, the speaker will be able to garner the support from within his caucus and with Democrats to get this job done before the end of this year and not defer it to next year," Snowe said.
Snowe is retiring at the end of this congressional term, and her seat will be assumed by Sen.-elect Angus King, an independent former governor who won election in November.