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Rep. Bill Young: Work Together or Fall Off the "Cliff" Together

Steve Newborn

As the so-called "fiscal cliff" looms in Washington, one of Congress' longest-serving members issued a warning today. Rep. C.W. Bill Young says either the bickering parties learn to work together, or we'll all fall off the cliff.

Young predicted at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club that there will be a 30-day to 90-day extension on dealing with the pending budget crisis, giving Congress "more time to sit around and think what to do."

But he says politicians first need to put aside their partisan squabbling, now that the election is over. In the current climate in Washington, that's easier said than done.

"And the biggest problem is - we have a lot of them - the biggest problem is we can't work together to fix them," he says. "And it's amazing, if we could just put politics aside - the election, supposedly, is over. And I'm not sure there are some people who agree with that, the new terms haven't even begun, but the politicians are starting. They've got to be willing to work together."

Young says that was done last year, when lawmakers reduced the national defense budget by $39 billion. He says that kind of cooperation can happen again.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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