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The Fiscal Cliff Fight

December 27, 2012, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

The Fiscal Cliff Fight

The clock is ticking as millions of Americans hold their breath to see if lawmakers in Washington can reach an agreement to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff. They have until the end of the year, but if they can't find common ground, your taxes will go up.

We asked Republican Senator John Thune how close they are to finding common ground.

"Not very at the moment, but my hope is that between now and the first of the year which happens next Wednesday, there will be some common ground we can find that would allow us to prevent these tax increases and across the board cuts from going into effect January 1," Thune said. 

If there's no deal, taxes would hit nearly everyone, including small business owners and Thune says that could hurt the economy and likely send the country back into a recession.

Democratic Senator Tim Johnson said in a statement via email:

I am working in Washington and am still pressing leaders from both parties to find a solution to the Fiscal Cliff. It is more difficult now because the members of the House of Representatives have not returned from Christmas break. I would like to see them return and at least vote on the Senate-passed bill that would prevent tax increases for middle class Americans. So far, the House has refused all proposals unless they get another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.

The bill in the Senate would at least extend the tax rates for another year. The President is expected to offer another proposal, but Republicans aren't too optimistic.

"Part of it is he thinks if he allows the pressure to build, he can get everything he wants and if he doesn't get what he wants he can blame the republicans, so there is a lot of political gamesmanship going on, I think there is," Thune said.

House members will return to Capitol Hill on Sunday and could begin voting on any proposal that night. They would have about 24 hours then to approve a deal.

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