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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As fiscal cliff deal nears, Florida lawmakers react



A deal is in the works over the so-called fiscal cliff ... and reaction is starting to come in from Florida.

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City: “The people of North and Northwest Florida sent me to Congress to stand firm on principle and get things done, even when some in Washington tried to convince us that those goals couldn’t coexist.  I believe that today’s negotiations over the fiscal cliff provide us a valuable opportunity to prove that we can advance good policy without sacrificing what’s right.  While it is disappointing that Senator Reid threw in the towel at the final hour, I am hopeful that a solution can still be attained that extends sorely needed tax relief for hardworking families while also getting serious about cutting spending and reforming Medicare and Social Security for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”

Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers (via Twitter): "Mr. President, no deal! It's all about spending ... ."

Sen. Bill Nelson spoke on the Senate floor:

"Mr. President, the hour is nigh and now Washington is awash in the rumor that there might be some progress being made.  I hope so.  If there was anything that was made clear to this senator in the reelection in one of our biggest states in the union, it was that the people want us to come together and to stop this bickering and the excessive partisanship.

And that is a huge turnoff, because I think ideological rigidity and excessive partisanship are impediments to getting people to come together with common-sense decisions for solutions.  Mr. President, obviously, there’s an easy way, and hopefully that is what is being tweaked at the moment in a final solutions with the president to speak in about 30 minutes.  I hope so. 

Mr. President, I’m going to leave you with this thought:  my colleagues know that a little over a quarter century ago I had the privilege of seeing our home planet when the perspective of looking through the window of a spacecraft back at our planet.  It was the 24th flight of the space shuttle.  It was early in the space shuttle program.  Mr. President, it is indelibly etched in my mind’s eye, as I looked back at earth what I saw.  I did not see political divisions.  I did not see religious divisions.  I did not see ethnic divisions.  What I saw is that we were all in this together as part of Planet Earth.  And, if we could remember that in our politics, we’d all get along so much better.  I hope what stays with me indelibly etched in my mind’s eye is what’s ultimately going to prevail in this momentous decision of avoiding the fiscal cliff." 

[Last modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 3:50pm]


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