(WIBW) - Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, says he is not very optimistic the White House and Congress will reach a deal on the fiscal cliff in time to meet the Jan. 1 deadline for spending cuts and higher taxes.
Even if there is agreement, Moran cautions it will likely only deal with the tax increase issues rather than the larger spending issues that created the situation. Moran says the fiscal cliff standoff should concern everyone for its short and long-term implications.
"You're going to feel it in your pocketbook come January as withholdings go up and you're certainly going to feel it when you pay your taxes at the end of the year, in spring of next year," Moran said. "This is not some academic concept. This is not some philosophical debate. Not only will you feel it, more importantly than the pain that we might suffer next year, if we don't get this right and deal with the spending side of our country's problems, we run the risk of our country's economy falling apart."
Moran said he's willing to accept a deal where some taxes go up because, with nothing, he says, everyone sees a tax hike. Of additional concern to Kansas he says are whether farm programs would become targets for massive spending cuts. He says the Senate approved a version of a new farm bill that already reduces agriculture payments by $26 billion over ten years.
Moran also said he believes it would be a mistake for Congress to enact only a temporary fix and delay making a concrete decision.
President Obama told Congressional leaders if they can't compromise, he wants a vote on what he called the bare minimum - avoiding tax increases for the middle class and keeping unemployment benefits for two million Americans who stand to lose them if a deal isn't reached.