Lieberman fears country may go over 'fiscal cliff' - FOX 35 News Orlando

Lieberman fears country may go over 'fiscal cliff'

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators bickered Sunday over who's to blame for lurching the country toward a year-end "fiscal cliff," bemoaning the lack of a deal days before the deadline but bridging no differences in the debate.

With the collapse Thursday of House Speaker John Boehner's plan to allow tax rates to rise on million-dollar-plus incomes, Sen. Joe Lieberman said "it's the first time that I feel it's more likely we'll go over the cliff than not," meaning that higher taxes for most Americans and painful federal agency budget cuts would be in line to go ahead.

"If we allow that to happen it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in American history because of the impact it'll have on almost every American," said Lieberman, a Connecticut independent.

Wyoming Sen. Jon Barrasso, a member of the GOP leadership, predicted that the new year would come without an agreement, and he faulted the White House.

"I believe the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. He senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff," he said.

Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was incredulous at Barrasso's assertion that 'there is only one person that can provide the leadership" on such a matter vital to the nation's interests.

"There are 535 of us that can provide leadership. There are 435 in the House, 100 in the Senate and there is the president, all of us have a responsibility here," he said. "And, you know what is happening? What is happening is the same old tired blame game. He said/she said. I think the American people are tired of it. What they want to hear is what is the solution?"

No solution seemed any nearer, with Obama and Congress on a short holiday break. Congress is expected to be back at work Thursday and Obama in the White House after a few days in Hawaii.

"It is time to get back to the table," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., "And I hope if anyone sees these representatives from the House in line shopping or getting their Christmas turkey, they wish them a merry Christmas, they're civil, and then say go back to the table, not your own table, the table in Washington."

Predicted Lieberman: "We're going to spend New Year's Eve here I believe."

Obama already has scaled back his ambitions for a sweeping budget bargain. Before leaving the capital on Friday, he called for a limited measure that extend George W. Bush-era tax cuts for most people and stave off federal spending cuts. The president also urged Congress to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that would otherwise be cut off for 2 million people at the end of the year.

"The truth of the matter is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president is inaugurated, he'll come back, propose just what he proposed ... in leaving Washington and we'll end up adopting it, but why should we put the markets in such turmoil and the people misunderstanding or lack of confidence," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. "Why not go ahead and act now?

Obama's announcement late Friday suggested that a smaller deal may rest in the Senate, given the failure of Boehner's option in the House.

"The ball is now clearly with the Senate," said Lieberman.

He said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky "have the ability to put this together again and pass something. It won't be a big, grand bargain to take care of the total debt, but they can do some things that will avoid the worst consequences going over the fiscal cliff."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said she expects "it is going to be a patch because in four days we can't solve everything."

It was only a week ago when news emerged that Obama and Boehner had significantly narrowed their differences. Both were offering a cut in taxes for most Americans, an increase for a relative few and cuts of roughly $1 trillion in spending over a year. Also included was a scaling back of future cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients — a concession on the president's part as much as agreeing to higher tax rates was for the speaker.

Lieberman was on CNN's "State of the Union," while Barrasso and Conrad appeared on "Fox News Sunday." Klobuchar and Isakson were on "Fox News Sunday," while Hutchison was on CBS' "Face the Nation."

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Heartbleed: Android devices may be vulnerable

    Heartbleed: Android devices may be vulnerable

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:14:46 GMT
    If you've heard about the Heartbleed bug, maybe you've already changed all your passwords and online security information. But Android users may still be at risk. Lance Ulanoff, senior editor of the online tech site Mashable, explains: "For the most part, Heartbleed has really been about the services that you access, and not local devices so the encryption on the device may have the same vulnerability."
    If you've heard about the Heartbleed bug, maybe you've already changed all your passwords and online security information. But Android users may still be at risk. Lance Ulanoff, senior editor of the online tech site Mashable, explains: "For the most part, Heartbleed has really been about the services that you access, and not local devices so the encryption on the device may have the same vulnerability."
  • Connecticut casinos post March slot revenue drop

    Connecticut casinos post March slot revenue drop

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 01:34:00 GMT
    Connecticut's Indian-run casinos say slot machine revenue fell sharply in March, with Foxwoods Resort Casino citing an "ultra-competitive" market. Foxwoods reported Tuesday that the share of wagers, known as revenue, was $44.6 million, down 10 percent from March 2013. Total slot machine wagering at the Mashantucket Pequot tribal casino was $566 million, down 5 percent.
    Connecticut's Indian-run casinos say slot machine revenue fell sharply in March, with Foxwoods Resort Casino citing an "ultra-competitive" market. Foxwoods reported Tuesday that the share of wagers, known as revenue, was $44.6 million, down 10 percent from March 2013. Total slot machine wagering at the Mashantucket Pequot tribal casino was $566 million, down 5 percent.
  • Heartbleed: what websites are affected and what you should do now

    Heartbleed: what websites are affected and what you should do now

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 9:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 01:16:42 GMT
    The Heartbleed bug is no joke. Websites, social networks, services, networking equipment, and web-enabled hardware may all be vulnerable. Here are some steps to take right now: Use the LastPass Heartbleed checker to see if websites you use are vulnerable and/or if they have installed security patches. Check the website of the company that made your home router in case it has been compromised. Make sure to download any software updates and security patches. Change your passwords.
    The Heartbleed security flaw is no joke. Websites, social networks, services, networking equipment, and web-enabled hardware may all be vulnerable. Here are some steps to take right now: Use the LastPass Heartbleed checker to see if websites you use are vulnerable and/or if they have installed security patches. Check the website of the company that made your home router in case it has been compromised. Make sure to download any software updates and security patches. Change your passwords.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices