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Congressman Shimkus Not Optimistic About Stopping Fiscal Cliff

By WJBD News

Congressman John Shimkus says he is not optimistic of getting an agreement that will stop the Fiscal Cliff from occuring with the start of the new year.  Shimkus and other members of Congress were called back to Washington for any potential votes.  While there is some wiggle room, Monday is the deadline to avert big tax hikes and sweeping spending cuts.  

"No one really knows what the total economic impact would be, but what really has people on edge is the uncertainty of not knowing and when you don't know, then the capital and business money is sitting on the side lines until they know what the new rules of the road are.  I think that is what's causing as much frustration in the market than anything", said Shimkus.  

Shimkus says everyone should be as concerned about the negative impact of the country's $16-trillion dollar national debt and yearly spending topping revenue by $1-trillion dollars.  

"It's a spending problem, not really a revenue problem, and so that's why we are trying to pull the President and the Senate into some negotiations on the spending aspect of the national government.  In my part of the country, people really believe that governments today cost too much and we spend too much money.  So that's all wrapped up in this debate", said Shimkus.  

Shimkus says he doesn't think now is the time for a band aide solution to avoid addressing the main spending issue.   

Meanwhile, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have agreed to a one year extension of the 2008 farm bill that expired in October, although Republican leaders as of Monday morning had not decided how they will proceed.  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that Americans face the prospect of paying $7 for a gallon of milk if the government returns to a 1948 formula for calculating milk price supports.   

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