Lawmakers Explain Fiscal Cliff's Potential Impact - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Lawmakers Explain Fiscal Cliff's Potential Impact

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As the deadline for the fiscal cliff approaches, President Obama and leading lawmakers met to set a plan for a possible last-minute deal.

9&10 News spoke with Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow and Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga.

Neither of them seemed very confident that a deal will be reached by the start of 2013 -- but President Obama is still "modestly optimistic" that it could happen.

Both the Republican-led U.S. House and Democrat-led U.S. Senate have already passed bills that they think provide a solution -- but so far, the legislation is at a stand still on the other side.

The common phrase "falling off a fiscal cliff" sounds a bit dramatic... but both sides actually agree that if this January 1st deadline is missed, a strong negative impact on the average American won't be immediately felt.

"I believe something will be agreed to whether its by New Years Eve or the first couple of weeks in January, but during that time this is something that will be phased in pretty slowly," said Stabenow.

"Do I believe that we will be putting together some sort of package of tax relief for middle class and for all tax payers? Yeah, I probably think there will be, I just don't know what that's going to look like," Huizenga said.

Some sort of temporary solution seems possible.

At the White House today, Obama told the nation that "the time for immediate action is now."

9&10's Evan Dean spoke with Michigan lawmakers today and has more on the Fiscal Cliff's impact.