Leahy: Bipartisan effort needed to avoid 'fiscal cliff' - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Leahy: Bipartisan effort needed to avoid 'fiscal cliff'

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Congress gets back to work next week trying to keep the country from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.

If there's no deal on a budget reduction plan by the end of the year, taxes will jump $2,000-$3,000 a year for most families and 12,000 government programs will be slashed.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says real work on the spending plan can happen now that the election is over. He says a real bipartisan effort is needed.

"Nonpartisan groups who have really studied this say it could knock us back into a much worse recession. Here we're coming out of the recession. We're showing improvements. And it would knock us right back and could be a recession that would have worldwide implications. So, it's not a case of what if we don't. I think we have to," said Leahy, D-Vermont.

President Barack Obama campaigned on a pledge to raise taxes for those higher income earners. House Speaker John Boehner said this week he is open to raising revenues, but not on couples and small businesses making more than $250,000 a year.

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