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Politics & Government
Sat December 29, 2012
Michigan members of Congress wait to see if there will be a "Ficsal Cliff" deal
Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are either back in Washington or soon will be.
Congress is going back into session to deal with the looming combination of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff”.
There have been suggestions that lawmakers will allow the “fiscal cliff” to go ahead and leave the job of picking up the pieces to the next Congress that will be sworn in next month.
Mid-Michigan congressman Tim Walberg doesn’t want to see that happen.
“I think this is a discredit to this congress and our responsibility, as well as the president….to leave this for a new congress to tackle,” says Walberg.
Senate leaders are rushing to assemble a last-ditch agreement to avoid middle-class tax increases and possibly delay steep spending cuts in an urgent attempt to find common ground after weeks of postelection gridlock.
An impatient President Barack Obama is pressing top lawmakers to cut a deal, even one that falls short of the ambitions he and congressional leaders may once have harbored for a bigger deficit reduction package.
Following a White House meeting Friday among Obama and congressional leaders, aides to the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada began racing against the clock for a bipartisan bargain. Senators could vote on a plan as early as Sunday.
The deadline for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff is year's end.
President Barack Obama is urging Congress to reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, saying the nation "can't afford a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy."
Obama says in Saturday's radio and Internet address that he believes leaders in Congress may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses before taxes rise and spending cuts take effect at the end of the year.
He urges "Washington politics" to not get in the way of "America's progress."
In the Republican address, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt says "inaction shouldn't be an option" and the nation can avoid going over the fiscal cliff if Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate work with Republicans to solve the problem.
Confused about the federal budget struggle? So are doctors, hospital administrators and other professionals who serve the 100 million Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Rarely has the government sent so many conflicting signals in so short a time about the bottom line for the health care industry.
Cuts are coming, says Washington, and some could be really big. Yet more government spending is also being promised as President Barack Obama's health care overhaul advances and millions of uninsured people move closer to getting government-subsidized coverage.
Thornton Kirby, president of the South Carolina Hospital Association, says it's like someone being told they are getting a raise, but their taxes and gas bill are also going up. There's no way to tell how deep a hole you might be in.
Politics & Government