Lieberman: fiscal cliff deal 'not a certainty'

Bob Child/AP file photo

Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is retiring this year, said he was hopeful that Congress could avoid the fiscal cliff, but that it was by no means a foregone conclusion.

“It’s not a done deal and it’s not a certainty,” said Lieberman, I-Conn., on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday. “The government is on automatic pilot to the fiscal cliff…unless we act. If Congress does nothing, which Congress has gotten pretty good at doing these days, we’ll go over the fiscal cliff. There’s work to be done and compromises to be reached.”

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Tex., who is also leaving Congress, was more optimistic that a solution could be found to the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to take hold at the beginning of next year.

“I believe we will come up with a way forward,” she said, on the same show. “Do I believe that we’ll do everything by the end of this year? Probably not. But I think we will not have a fiscal cliff. We will have a plan, hopefully, to go forward. And we will have a blueprint, and we will set the stage for long term.”

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., another retiring Senator, also said he anticipated a solution to come in phases.

“I think it’s likely there will be a solution that’s not a final solution, by any means, that’s not a big solution, but will get us through the end of the year, into next year with a plan for trying to deal with these issues long term over the course of the next Congress. That will require compromise.”

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