Chambliss works hard to avoid fiscal cliff - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chambliss works hard to avoid fiscal cliff

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss may be one of the lead negotiators.

He had a conference call Wednesday night with the so-called Gang of Eight, a bi-partisan group of Senators who have been working for a long time on a budget compromise.

Senator Chambliss stressed to me that congress has to work together to avoid this fiscal Cliff and while he admits that's easier said than done, he feels cautiously optimistic that a deal will get done.

If Democrats and Republicans can't work out a deal by midnight on December 31 to extend tax cuts. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss says we'll be dealing with the worst economy we've ever seen.

"If we fall off of this fiscal cliff, we'll be in the deepest recession this country has ever been in," said Sen. Chambliss.

Without a deal, major spending cuts will also be triggered, mostly to the military.

Democrats want a budget deal to include a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.  Until now, Republicans have said tax hikes are off the table. 

"We can fix this problem without increasing tax rates. We can fix it by reforming a tax code that now is very complicated and very burdensome," said Sen. Chambliss.

Congressman Sanford Bishop says there is room for compromise.

"We cannot allow partisanship and worrying about the next election to get in the way of congress sitting down, rolling up our sleeves and doing the things we must do to reach meaningful, thoughtful compromise in order to do what needs to be done for America and the American People," said 2nd congressional district rep. Sanford Bishop.

Both sides know a deal won't come easy, but Senator Chambliss says both sides must give some ground for the greater good of America.

"Everybody is going to have to suffer some, but if everybody does, then we can solve this problem and fix it in a way that moves America Forward and gets our economy going again and that's the ultimate answer for the deficit reduction," said Sen. Chambliss.

"We've got to look beyond partisan politics. Congress has not lived up to its responsibility of the American people," said Rep. Bishop.

The one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on is that a deal must get done. The big questions that remain are how and when. 

Senator Chambliss also said the Gang of Eight is addressing ways to increase revenue by hopefully attracting investors to the US.

Senator Chambliss admitted President Obama is in a better negotiating position after his re-election. He's a short-term agreement may be more likely than a long-term deal.

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