“I just had a good and constructive discussion at the White House with Senate and House leadership,” said Obama. “About how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. I’m optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time.”
Leaders will be continuing negotiations over the weekend as the deadline approaches.
“Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect,” said Sen.Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader. “Some people aren’t going to like it. Some people are going to like it less, but that’s where we are. And I feel confident that we have an obligation to do the best we can and that was very made very clear in the White House.”
Without a deal, California State Senator Joel Anderson said the local economy will suffer.
“It will be devastating,” said Anderson. “Absolutely devastating . California will lose roughly 4.5 billion dollars, but more importantly between Los Angeles and San Diego because of our defense contracting we’ll lose over 2 billion dollars and that’s a quarter million jobs.”
Anderson said this is a familiar situation for California.
“This is the first time it’s happened on the federal side,” said Anderson. “But in the state of California we’ve had logjams where we went almost 100 days without a budget. It was very painful on Californians.”
Still, if the deal isn’t reached by the so-called deadline Anderson said there is still hope.
“That’s the deadline on paper,” said Anderson. “But you really have about 60 days after that deadline before any of the cuts go into place. You know you can’t just flip a switch and overnight everything goes into place. It takes time for it to be implemented. So, they really have a small window there that if they don’t have the deal immediately, if they got it done right after the first of the year we would never know that they didn’t get it done.”
Nonetheless, during Friday’s news conference, President Obama said leaders have an obligation to the American people to get the job done.
“America wonders why it is that in this town for some reason you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable,” said Obama. “Why everything always has to wait until the last minute. We’ll we’re now at the last minute. The American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy.”