The first of the year is fast approaching and with it a deadline for a new deal in Washington, D.C. to control the federal deficit. The House and Senate are on break for the weekend. YNN's Bill Carey says New York's two U.S. Senators are still hopeful a deal can be reached.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The talks have continued through the week, but there are few signs of any deal in the works to avert a year-end plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff.
New York's junior U.S. Senator, touring Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, warned that the economic fall could lower take home pay by boosting taxes across the board. An even deeper impact, she says, could come from mandatory cuts in spending that could halt a number of federal contracts with Upstate companies.
“Those contracts will be discontinued and that will mean job loss all across our state, so New York will fare very poorly under the current Budget Control Act. There will be a lot of jobs lost,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.
Despite the lack of any visible progress in the talks, Gillibrand says she still believes a deal is likely.
Gillibrand said, “I'm optimistic. I'm really optimistic. I feel like there may well have been a certain amount of political posturing up until now. But I'm hopeful that, where the rubber meets the road, we'll begin to have agreement and some together around a consensus.”
The state's senior U.S. Senator is also holding out hope for a deal. Senator Charles Schumer has been closely involved in mapping democratic strategy on the Senate side of the struggle.
Schumer, in New York City to huddle with state leaders discussing efforts to win federal storm aid, says the first hurdle has been getting republicans to go along with raising revenues by raising taxes on high income Americans.
“If we start doing deductions, charitable, state and local, it will kill New York. And then they'll have to find cuts in spending. We don't want to cut the benefits from programs. We want to find the waste in programs and cut them out and that's what we'll try to do,” Schumer said.
Both Schumer and Gillibrand expect some deal. Gillibrand saying a breakthrough on a deficit control plan could be a turning point.
Gillibrand said, “I'm hopeful that we will see a change in tone. And I'm hopeful that over the next week we'll see the beginning of a different narrative. One where we can come together around common sense principles.”
Time for a deal, though, is running short.