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Lawmakers Ordered To Cut Budgets As ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks Stall

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PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — California lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are drawing a line in the sand as negotiations to avoid a so-called “fiscal cliff” stall in Washington.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports the nation took one step closer to the edge on Thursday amid more signs that negotiations may not yield much of a compromise.

Economists have warned the “cliff” – which is comprised of a combination of tax increases and government spending cuts that take effect Jan. 1 unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert them – could eventually lead the U.S. economy back into a recession.

KCAL9 has learned that congressional lawmakers were given orders to cut their own budgets by 11 percent in the latest signal that negotiations may be far from a bipartisan resolution.

Pasadena Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff said the consequences should motivate House Speaker John Boehner to rally moderate Republicans toward a compromise.

“It’s his responsibility to marshal his conference or put something on the floor that will get a strong, bipartisan vote that may not have a majority of his members, but nonetheless will be strongly supported and can go to the Senate,” Schiff said.

Schiff said Democrats are unlikely to budge on items like Social Security and other programs seen by the party as vital to the nation’s well-being.

“Certainly, there are red-lines for Democrats, and Social Security is a red-line for Democrats,” he said. “But are Democrats willing to compromise? Absolutely…we’ve already agreed to a trillion dollars in cuts.”

But Republicans like Northern California Congressman Tom McClintock argue that any tax increase on the wealthiest Americans would be stifle job creation and threaten the income of an estimated 88 percent of small business owners.

As for reaching a deal with Democrats, McClintock said that may be next to impossible as long as negotiations are kept from being openly debated in the full chamber.

“Unfortunately, it is not being followed, it’s instead fallen to legislative leaders behind closed doors and that normally doesn’t end very well,” McClintock said.

Boehner on Wednesday warned McClintock and other House Republicans that negotiations may continue up to and through the Christmas holiday.

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