U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced Monday that the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing to discuss plans to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

Casey says Congress and the president need to reach a compromise by January to avoid across-the-board cuts, also known as sequestration.

"We understand that these across-the-board cuts don't make sense," said Casey, D-Pa. "There's a lot of compromise that we think is available when it comes to tax rates."

But he said he wants to make sure middle-class families will not face tax increases before he's willing to discuss hiking rates for upper-income households.

Casey also said he wants to extend the payroll tax cut for another year to give Pennsylvanians "not just economic security but maybe even a couple more bucks in their pockets."

The JEC will meet Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C.