Two AZ Congressmen from different parties agree: Fiscal Cliff fix has flaws but should pass
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
WASHINGTON, DC (KGUN9-TV) - A good compromise is sometimes defined as something no one is really happy with.
Congressman Raul Grijalva isn't really happy with parts of the Fiscal Cliff deal but he wants to approve it and get the country safely back from the cliff---and he thinks Republican threats to change the deal could make it collapse.
Early New Year's morning the Senate approved a deal to raise income taxes on people making more than 400 thousand a year, but avoid a tax hike for other Americans by preserving the Bush administration tax cuts for taxpayers making less than that.
There are many other parts to the complex deal, but its reception in the House threatened to make it all fall apart.
The House Republican Majority wanted deeper spending cuts than the Senate plan.
If the House changed the deal, it would have to go back to the Senate and many Senate members headed out of Washington after their vote on the plan.
Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva says there are many things he'd like to change in the bill but it's too important to the economy to do anything to keep it from passing.
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him: "What are the consequences if this fails or if it stays so hung up the Congress goes to the new Congress?"
Grijalva: "The consequences are the stock market and Wall Street will feel it immediately, the consequences is unemployment benefits for two million Americans and about 30 thousand in Arizona will end. The consequences are that taxes on a yearly basis will go up for the middle class will go up by two thousand dollars."
Technically Congress already went over the fiscal cliff, but it can avoid automatic tax hikes retroactively as long as it acts before Noon Thursday. That's when this session of Congress ends, and a new Congress is sworn in. If there's no deal by then, the new Congress starts from scratch.
Late Tuesday Arizona Republican Congressman, soon to be Senator Jeff Flake said he expected a vote on the bill later Tuesday night without any changes from the Senate version. He predicted that bill would pass.
Craig Smith asked him: "What's your feeling about the bill as it stands right now?"
Flake: "The tax provisions are actually favorable. We make a lot of tax cuts that were temporary, permanent. That's a good thing. But on the spending side there are no spending reductions in fact the Congressional budget office just scored it over ten years it's costing more than 300 billion dollars more. That's additional spending and that's not good."
Flake says he thinks the deal needs to pass, but deeper spending cuts still need to happen. He predicts the markets will applaud the agreement at first, but turn sour later as investors decide more cuts are needed.