Fallin, governors to talk about impact of 'fiscal cliff'
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, November 30, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY– Gov. Mary Fallin and the National Governors Association executive committee on Tuesday will be at the White House to discuss the impact that the "fiscal cliff" will have on states.
"We just don't know what Washington is going to do," said Fallin, a former member of Congress. "I mean, they are bickering and fighting right now."
Fallin, vice chairwoman of the NGA, said time is running out for a resolution. The fiscal cliff is the expiration of several tax cuts coupled with a reduction in federal spending.
If Congress does not come to an agreement in the next three weeks, "they will leave the states hanging," Fallin said.
She said she has told her cabinet secretaries to take a look at federal funds for state programs and to analyze where cuts would be made should a resolution not be forthcoming.
Proposed cuts in defense spending could have a huge impact on the state's aerospace industry and its five military installations, Fallin said.
"One of the things I hear constantly from the business community is they are not making any major spending decisions," the governor said. "They are not buying equipment, vehicles. Some of them are not expanding because there is so much uncertainty in Washington.
"It not only hurts some Oklahoma companies, but it hurts all companies and businesses in the nation, which affects the governors and our budgets."
Fallin said she believes the uncertainty at the nation's capitol is holding back the U.S. economy.
"We have not seen some of the improvements we need in the high unemployment rate as a nation," she said.
Fallin said governors, through the NGA, have been telling Congress and the White House that they need to listen to state concerns.
"The uncertainty is not good for the states, our economy and certainly not good for the national economy," Fallin said. "It is important that Congress give the nation some certainty."
Gov. Mary Fallin speaks at the Tulsa Convention Center back in July. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World File