Fallin, governors panel to discuss fiscal cliff at White House
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 6:19 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Mary Fallin and the National Governors Association executive committee will be at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the impact the "fiscal cliff" will have on states.
Fallin is vice chairwoman of the association.
Also participating will be Govs. Mike Beebe of Arkansas, the National Governors Association's chairman; John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Jack Markell of Delaware; Mark Dayton of Minnesota; Gary Herbert of Utah; and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
The fiscal cliff is the expiration of several tax cuts coupled with a reduction in federal spending that are to take place automatically Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to stop them.
"We just don't know what Washington is going to do," Fallin, a former member of Congress, said Friday. "I mean they (U.S. senators and representatives) are bickering and fighting right now."
Fallin said time is running out for a resolution.
If Congress does not come to an agreement in the next three weeks, "they will leave the states hanging," she said.
Fallin said she has told her Cabinet secretaries to take a look at federal funds for state programs and 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, she said.
"One of the things I hear constantly from the business community is they are not making any major spending decisions," Fallin 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 that 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 National Governors Association, 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."
Original Print Headline: Governors to discuss fiscal cliff
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465