Regardless of who wins the presidential election, Rep. Kay Granger says she thinks Congress will go back to work in the coming weeks and begin coming to grips with the U.S. government's short-term financial problems.
The looming "fiscal cliff" of big tax increases and budget cuts that would take effect Jan. 1 will be worked around, Granger said, likely with short term, stopgap measures at first to give congressional leaders of both parties time to negotiate longer term deals.
Democrats and Republicans alike are feeling pressure from their constituents, Granger, R-Fort Worth, said Tuesday after touring Fort Worth Gasket & Supply, a small business.
"People are telling us to quit fighting and get back to work," Granger said. Business owners and others, Granger said, are telling her they just want the government to decide on policies and directions so they'll know how to prepare and adjust.
Both the Bush tax cuts on higher incomes and the Obama tax cuts of the last two years, largely in the form of reduced Social Security withholding taxes, are due to expire at the end of the year. Plus sequestration -- another roughly $100 billion of mandatory budget cuts ($1 trillion over 10 years), half from defense spending -- are due to take effect in January unless Congress reaches agreement on new budget measures.
Many economist have said the combination of tax increases and spending cuts could potentially derail the already modest economic recovery.