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Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 11:57am

Isakson Says U.S. Will Avoid Fiscal Cliff

In a talk Thursday at the Atlanta Press Club, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson said he thinks there will soon be a break in the political gridlock in Washington. The Marietta Republican cited the former Gang of Six, who are now known as the “Gang of Eight” since adding two members.

Isakson said new talks by the so-called Gang of Eight in the U.S. Senate, which includes Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss, give him hope that there will be a bipartisan solution to the nation’s fiscal woes.

The Gang of Eight includes Democrats and Republicans discussing ways to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff in January. That’s when tax increases and automatic spending cuts would go into effect if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement.

“But it’s not just eight people in the Gang of Eight," he told the audience. "There are 46 members of the Senate, 23 Republicans, and 21 Democrats and two Independents who vote with the Democrats who have signed a letter that’s been hand-delivered to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell saying, ‘We will vote on Simpson-Bowles and we will vote against the filibuster.’ Forty-six can’t do it but sixty can.”

He says the other Senators will come forward after the election to pass the Simpson-Bowles bi-partisan debt agreement.

Isakson said it’s time for Congress to make the tough financial decisions that many Americans have made.

“We’ll probably pass a pathway to the future in the lame-duck session, meaning we’ll probably forestall the tax increases from taking place. We’ll probably forestall the sequestration from taking place. But we’ll take some initial corrective steps in spending and regulation to send a signal to the rest of the world that the Americans are finally going to address their problem.”

But Isakson said he doesn’t think the military can sustain any more spending cuts. Scheduled cuts at the Pentagon would heavily affect Georgia’s many military installations.