Today Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Member of the House Budget Committee held a press conference call to discuss the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations and the devastating impact for California's economy if an agreement is not reached. California could stand to lose as much as $4.5 billion in federal funds and more than 200,000 jobs next year if Congress fails to reach a deficit reduction deal, putting the nation's economic recovery at risk.
During the call, Congresswoman Bass stated her belief that Congress would reach a deal by the end of the month and avoid going over the fiscal cliff, which would raise taxes on middle class families across California.
Speaking with reporters, the Congresswoman said: "I remain optimistic a deal avoiding the fiscal cliff can and will be reached. Americans will likely see a two-step process emerge in the coming weeks where we avoid middle-class tax increases this year and take a look at some of the long term drivers of our deficits next year," said Bass. "Democrats have shown they are ready to find savings within our current entitlements so that we can deal with our deficits responsibly and not undermine the social guarantee Americans have relied on for generations."
The Congresswoman also stated her belief that Democrats and Republicans could reach a deal sooner if the GOP rejected Grover Norquist. "Compromise is possible even in the toughest and most divisive political environments if leaders are willing to step up to the plate and lead," said Bass. "Speaker Boehner could have great success working across the aisle with President Obama to meet our current fiscal challenges -- but the GOP will have to start leading on these issues and stop allowing Grover Norquist to lead them."
Congresswoman Bass also called on Congress to act now on tax relief for 98% of Americans as Democrats called for this week when they filed a motion on the House floor in an attempt to get Republican support for an immediate vote on extending Bush era tax cuts for Americans earning less than $250,000 per year.